Putin to push South Stream pipeline on Austria trip

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, on June 20, 2014Russian President Vladimir Putin will seek to exploit disagreement within a deeply divided EU over a Kremlin-backed gas pipeline as he looks to seal Vienna’s support for the project during a visit to Austria next week. During the one-day trip on Tuesday Putin will oversee the signing of a shareholder agreement between Gazprom and energy firm OMV enabling them to press on with work to build a section of the planned South Stream pipeline in Austria, Putin’s top foreign policy aide said on Friday. The Russian president is expected to use the opportunity to try to secure Vienna’s backing for the Gazprom-led pipeline after another EU member involved in the project, Bulgaria, suspended work on it earlier this month under pressure from the EU, Putin’s aide Yury Ushakov

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