Bulgarian Parliament Divided Over Fate of South Stream
Bulgarian MPs remained divided on Wednesday over the cancellation of the South Stream project announced by Russia.
The MPs failed to agree on a common stance before Prime Minister Boyko Borisov left on a visit to Brussels.
The Prime Minister sought lawmakers' support ahead of talks on the project with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz on Thursday.
Borisov asked Parliament to issue a declaration on South Stream, which he could present to Bulgaria's partners.
He also said that no one has provided him with the contracts on South Stream and he was not familiar with them.
Similarly, he was not aware of the estimates of the cost of Bulgaria's participation in the project and the gains that the country was expected to receive.
The Prime Minister pointed out that true energy diversification lies in developing Bulgaria's deposits of natural gas – an item on the agenda of Wednesday's cabinet meeting.
The largest ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), its coalition partner the Reformist Bloc (RB), and opposition Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) insisted that in case the project goes ahead, it should be implemented in line with EU legislation.
The Patriotic Front (PF), which supports the GERB-RB coalition in Parliament, declared itself firmly against the project, which it said would benefit only Russia.
Opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Ataka nationalist party and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV) called on Borisov to defend national interests in discussions on the construction of South Stream.
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