Gov't Resignation in Bulgaria May Cause Problems for Gazprom
The resignation of the loyal to Moscow Bulgarian government may cause serious problems for Gazprom and the South Stream project, writes the Russian newspaper Kommersant.
“By October the country will be ruled by a caretaker government, which does not have a mandate to take serious decisions and after that in power may come the pro-European opposition,” writes Kommersant. “As a result, Gazprom risks failure to complete the South Stream project by the end of 2015.”
“The resignation of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) government, traditionally considered most loyal to Moscow, may pose a threat to the construction of the Bulgarian stretch of the South Stream pipeline.”
“The caretaker government, appointed by the president, would have the right to negotiate on South Stream, but all decisions must be sanctioned by Parliament (which will be dissolved in August), while President Rosen Plevneliev (supported by GERB and with pro-European orientation) has the right to veto. It was indeed during the term of the previous government, formed by GERB, when two Russian-Bulgarian projects – the Belene NPP and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline.”
“Our sources tell us that in their opinion, the fate of South Stream is not decided in Bulgaria, so it was not so important who comes to power,” writes Kommersant. “One of them even thinks Bulgaria would not give up on South Stream, no matter the new government and the western pressure. If the gas transit through Ukraine stops, Bulgaria would suffer, who almost has no alternative gas supplies. Moreover, the transit fees from South Stream could help the state budget. Another source, however, reminds that the GERB leader and former PM Boiko Borisov in 2009 said he was in favour of the cancellation of the South Stream project or at least its delay. Valeriy Nesterov from Sberbank CIB presumes that the launching of the pipeline could be delayed by a year.”
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