Bulgaria Insists on Building South Stream Gas Pipe – Energy Ministry
Bulgaria's Ministry of Economy and Energy has insisted that the South Stream gas pipeline must be built because the project is essential for the security of supply to the country.
The media statement comes after an announcement by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger that the European Commission would delay talks on the implementation of the project.
According to the press office of Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Ministry, as cited by dnevnik.bg, South Stream is a strategic project of national importance.
According to the statement, Bulgaria insists on the implementation of the gas pipeline project because it is crucial for the security of supply to the country, for its economic growth and for boosting employment.
Earlier on Monday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski explained during a press conference that discussions on the topic had to take into account the crisis in Ukraine.
Oresharski underscored that preliminary preparations for the gas pipeline project were underway and they had never been stopped.
"We are among the countries least interested in the deterioration of relations between the European Union and Russia in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, especially as regards the economic sphere, because we will end up paying the highest price," he commented.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin told private TV station bTV that it was a good idea to put the South Stream gas pipeline project on hold, be it for a few days or a few weeks, until the situation went back to normal.
Vigenin stressed that he did not see a threat to the project and that he had no worries about the project in the mid term or long term.
The South Stream gas pipeline, in which Russian energy giant Gazprom holds a 50% stake, is to transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas from 2018. The project is to provide an alternative gas supply route for Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Italy, according to reports of Fox News.
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