Pipes Still Arriving, As Bulgaria Says South Stream is ‘Frozen’

Views on BG | August 22, 2014, Friday // 14:33
Bulgaria: Pipes Still Arriving, As Bulgaria Says South Stream is ‘Frozen’ Archive photo by BGNES.

European Commission became aware that room was made at Bulgaria's Varna harbor for pipes to be used for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, EurActiv notes.

Despite the assurances by the country’s government that the project has been frozen, a video published by Dnevnik, the EurActiv partner in Bulgaria, shows workers at the Varna harbor making room for further arrivals amid pipes delivered for the South Stream pipeline.

According to information released by Dnevnik, the first batch of pipes have arrived by sea on 14 August. They had been brought from Germany, as they were produced by the company Europipe, an article of EurActiv reads.

Bulgaria's caretaker government, which took office on 6 August, has frozen the construction of South Stream, after clear indications that the EU executive would impose infringements on Bulgaria, unless the country re-negotiates its bilateral agreement with Russia for the construction of the pipeline, which is in breach of EU law.

Commission spokesperson Chantal Hughes has confirmed for EurActiv that the EU executive was aware of the press reports and of the video in question. However, she added that the Commission assumed that construction was suspended, and that it was not going to comment on whether delivering pipes consisted of a violation.

Regarding the Bulgarian section of South Stream there was an infringement procedure ongoing which concerns the compatibility with EU public procurement rules of the pipeline in this country, Hughes stated.

Hughes said the infringement procedure was “progressing” and that the EC was analyzing the reply of the Bulgarian authorities to the formal notice that it sent, EurActiv notes.

“When we finish that analysis, we will decide on the next steps... in the letter of formal notice, we requested the Bulgarian authorities to suspend the construction of the project until the alleged violations are remedied and we can be certain that there is full compliance with European law. The Bulgarian authorities have confirmed more than once that they agreed to suspend work,” she said for EurActiv.

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Tags: South stream, pipeline, infringement procedure, European Commission
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