President Traian Basescu told journalists attending his last press conference as Romania’s head of state on Saturday that he vehemently opposed the resumption of the South Stream project and intensely criticised the position of OMV Petrom company supporting this project.
Basescu argued that this way Romania wouldn’t be independent energy-wise, but, on the contrary, it would depend on the Gazprom infrastructure and on the conditions imposed by the Russian company. “Now, I don’t know how things will evolve. I raised this issue in the current [European] Council meeting, when the resumption of the South Stream project was requested and I vehemently opposed this project. Why? Because of the majority shareholder, OMV Petrom, and I want you to know that I have also communicated this thing to Austria’s Chancellor, I have also communicated this to Austria’s Ambassador, exactly as I am telling you. In fact, South Stream is over-supported by OMV Petrom, because it would want to pump the gas from the Black Sea through the South Stream, which would make of Romania, which is the owner of the gas to be extracted from the Black Sea, a country dependent on the Gazprom infrastructure. But, from this point of view, Romania cannot accept and doesn’t want the South Stream project because there is the same source, the same problem, with the dependency on the single source. Secondly, if, impossibly, South Stream is done, Romania’s Government must be very clear, same as I have been extremely clear in the discussion with Exxon, in the discussion with OMV Petrom, even with Mr [Gerhard] Roiss, who, thank God, will leave the top position with OMV next year, I have been extremely clear that no cubic metre of gas from the Black Sea economic area will be exported differently than through Romanian infrastructure, with the priority to cover 100 per cent Romania’s needs, to cover 100 per cent the Republic of Moldova’s needs and what is left to be exported. But through Romanian infrastructure, not through Gazprom infrastructure! As, in that case, you are anything but independent! Because Gazprom comes and tells you: For you to sell your gas through South Stream pipe, the transit rate is this. And what have you achieved?,” Basescu said at the Cotroceni Palace during his last press conference as Romania’s president in office.