December 9, 2014 / 9:24 PM / 3 years ago

Putin calls Austrian leader to discuss Ukraine, South Stream

VIENNA (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the South Stream natural gas pipeline, a spokesman for the Austrian leader said on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Security Council at the Kremlin in Moscow, November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

He gave no details about the talks, which followed Russia’s decision last week, citing EU objections, to scrap the South Stream project that was supposed to bring Russian supplies to Europe without crossing Ukraine.

Austrian energy group OMV had agreed in June with Russian partner Gazprom to extend the $40 billion pipeline from southeastern Europe to Austria, and was taken by surprise by news South Stream was apparently dead.

The European Union will seek clarification from Moscow over what it says is a still an “unofficial” announcement by Russia that it has halted work on the South Stream project, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

Reporting by Michael Shields

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