PM Oresharski: South Stream 'Very Important' to Bulgaria
Bulgaria has marked significant progress in carrying out the South Stream project since the current government started its term, the country's Prime Minister asserted Monday.
Plamen Oresharski told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is on a two-day working visit to the country, that the gas pipeline project was "one of the most important" on Bulgarian territory.
"I am optimistic that our arguments [sent to the EU Commission regarding South Stream] will be accepted," the Council of Ministers' press office quoted Oresharski as saying.
He was referring to the Commission's decision to insist that the project come to a halt for non-compliance with EU rules.
Oresharski listened to calls from Brussels days after it launched an infringement procedure against Bulgaria saying that the project is incompatible with Europe's Thurd Energy Package.
The EU Commission however gave Sofia a month to make its point about South Stream in a formal statement, and Bulgaria recently handed its position.
According to the government, the pipeline project is not at odds with EU norms.
The Prime Minister also expressed his satisfaction with Russian investment and tourists coming to Bulgaria, but underscored the negative trend observed in the bilateral trade balance regarding all goods except energy products.
He added problems of economic and commercial relations "have been discussed since the 1990s," and sides in talks on those issues should be "encourage" to seek a quicker solution.
Bulgaria's Prime Minister stressed Sofia would back "any" diplomatic efforts to solve the Ukraine crisis.
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