PM Oresharski Insists He Ordered South Stream Freeze
Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski has reiterated he ordered the temporary suspension of South Stream following his statement on Sunday.
Answering to lawmakers' questions Oresharski explained he had launched a procedure to freeze the pipeline without coordinating his actions with the Council of Ministers.
He added construction activities could be halted only from the Bulgarian part of the joint venture, which is co-owned by the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Gazprom.
The Prime Minister reminded that Economy Minister Dragomir Stoynev was in charge of the BEH and had agreed to freeze the project.
Bulgaria could not indulge in non-compliance with the EU insistence that the project be frozen to meet EU norms.
Against the background of his statement, both Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov and Russian energy concern Gazprom have denied that activities might have come to a halt.
Mikov has argued that Prime Minister Oresharski was not entitled to issue similar orders.
Opposition GERB lawmaker has echoed Mikov's claim by casting doubts whether the Bulgarian PM possessed such competencies.
But Oresharski said the move needed only an action by Dragomir Stoynev to be carried out.
When asked why he made his statement immediately upon meeting three US senators on Sunday, Oresharski denied there was any connection between the two events.
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