Bulgaria Will Not Stop South Stream Gas Pipeline – Energy Minister
The South Stream gas pipeline project will not be terminated, according to Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev.
Speaking after a meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger in Brussels, he noted that Bulgaria was headed in the right direction in its attempts to secure compliance with EU law, adding that there were no reasons to postpone the construction of the conduit.
Stoynev, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), announced on Thursday that he had presented Oettinger with sufficient information showing that Bulgaria did not violate EU laws through the draft amendments to the Energy Act.
He claimed that Oettinger had been misinformed about the legal changes by representatives of the opposition who were most probably seeking to stop the gas pipeline project.
Bulgaria's Energy Minister underscored that the attempts of the opposition to suspend the South Stream gas pipeline project clashed with national interests.
"Commissioner Oettinger explicitly stated that both Russia and Gazprom were important partners of Europe and that this project was important for gas supplies to Europe" Stoynev stated.
He explained that the legal changes had only passed first reading, adding that the opposition could present their proposals before the second reading and rest assured that they would be taken into account, if adequate.
Stoynev also added that he and Oettinger would have another meeting before the second reading of the Energy Act amendments and explained that expert talks would continue.
Stoynev said that the European Commission did not have any objections to the overland section of the South Stream gas pipeline at the current stage, while the offshore section was no different from the existing and future gas pipelines to Europe.
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