South Stream Pipeline 'to Be Built Under EU Rules' - Commissioner
EU-Bulgaria dialogue on South Stream is "constructive" and "still ongoing", but the pipeline must meet EU requirements, outgoing EU Energy Commissioner said.
Gunther Oettinger told Bulgarian journalists in Brussels that South Stream will be operational only if it is in compliance with what the EU Commission describes as its "rules".
He was envisaging competitiveness issues and incompatibility with the EU's Third Energy Package, problems which were among those pointed out by the EU Commission as it triggered an infringement procedure against Bulgaria in early June.
"Nobody is interested in building a gas pipeline through which no gas will be running. Our Russian partners are investing billions in this project and it should be in their interest that we find a legal solution - otherwise they will stumble on a problem after constructing the pipeline. In order to start operating, it has to be subjected to our rules," the Bulgarian National Radio quoted Oettinger as saying.
Formally Bulgaria is due to present a statement on the pipeline and the infringement procedure Sofia has been imposed until July 4.
The country froze construction of South Stream on June 8, briefly after a visit by US senators, with Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski arguing he had ordered the move in response to calls issued by the EU Commission earlier that week.
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