Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has insisted the South stream gas pipeline will guarantee vital supplies to Europe. Berlusconi’s comments came as he welcomed Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin for talks in northern Italy. The two leaders had met to seal key economic and energy deals. Berlusconi also praised Russia as a reliable partner.
The Italian premier said: “Southstream is important, because it guarantees the opportunity to get Russian gas when there are cuts, for instance what happened recently in Ukraine. This is an opportunity to secure supply.’‘
South stream aims to transport Russian natural gas to the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further to Italy and Austria.
Also high on the agenda was Italy’s nuclear power programme. Rome and Moscow officially signed agreements which will see both countries cooperating in the atomic energy sector.