EC President Advises Caution about Bulgaria's Gas Links with Russia

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | April 7, 2014, Monday // 15:56
Bulgaria: EC President Advises Caution about Bulgaria's Gas Links with Russia European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso speaks during the European Roma Summit in Brussels, Belgium, 04 April 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

EC President Jose Barroso has told Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Deputy Chair of Bulgarian party GERB, that the South Stream gas pipeline has not been given priority treatment in Europe.

Barroso, as cited by the press office of GERB (Citizens Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), informed Tsvetanov that the South Stream gas pipeline was a new project envisaging the same supplier, Russian Gazprom.

The EC President also commented that by refusing to give political priority to South Stream, Europe could focus on a gas pipeline project running from Azerbaijan through Italy, provided that Azerbaijan resisted Russian pressure.

During the meeting, former Bulgarian Interior Minister and current Deputy Chair of GERB Tsvetan Tsvetanov declared that Sergey Stanishev, leader of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), kept arguing that all problems over the past two years had been the fault of the governments of the European People's Party (EPP), adding that he conveniently failed to mention the failure of socialist cabinets and the crisis they had caused in Europe.

Tsvetanov cited Spain and Greece as cases in point.

Barroso responded by saying that it had been precisely at a time of crisis that right-wing governments had acted as a real guarantor of stability and security in Europe.

"This is why we are telling Bulgaria to be much more cautious, for instance with the implementation of gas links with Russia, at the expense of other pipelines, which could provide a diversification of energy supplies for the country. This is why the historical decision for the EU accession of Bulgaria and Romania was a decision of huge importance because if they were outside the EU, we would be having problems with Bulgaria and Romania apart from Ukraine, where Russia would have set foot to expand its influence," Barroso was quoted as saying by the press office of GERB.

"There are people in Bulgaria, not from the EPP, who are agents of Russia. This gives the EPP the opportunity to guarantee stability and security in Bulgaria and Romania and the entire region," Barroso noted.

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Tags: European Commission, EC President, EC President Jose Barroso, South Stream gas pipeline, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, Sergey Stanishev, Gazprom, Party of European Socialists, Bulgarian Socialist Party, European People's Party, EPP, BSP, PES
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