Sofia 'Not Reliable Partner about Turkish Stream'
It isn't worth holding negotiations with Bulgaria over its prospective inclusion in the Turkish Stream project after the country showed itself to be unpredictable, a Russian expert says.
Referring to reports that emerged earlier this week about a Bulgarian Deputy Minister saying Bulgaria should be connected to Turkish Stream (via the future gas link with Greece) to turn into a hub for Russian gas, Anna Bodrova, Senior Analyst at the Alpari financial consultancy, reminds Bulgaria "blocked" the South Stream pipeline, a gas project which was envisaged to deliver gas to Central Europe via the country's territory.
South Stream was ditched early in December after a surprising announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who cited Bulgaria's reluctance to issue construction permits for the pipeline's offshore section.
RIA Novosti quotes Anna Bodrova as telling Sputnik radio (Sputnik is the agency's international branding) that Russia is evidently "not ready to discuss any interaction with Bulgaria since it showed itself an unpredictable enough partner".
"Russia hasn't yet discussed all these questions in detail, while Bulgaria has already put a draft plan to interact with the Greek side and is ready to discuss this with Russia," Bodrova also noted.
She also warned Brussels would never allow Bulgaria to be a hub for gas distribution to Europe, adding "if the project comes to Bulgaria it would fall under the anti-monopoly Third Energy Package". It was non-compliance of South Stream with the Third Energy Package that mostly drew fire from the EU, with Brussels finally demanding that Sofia freeze the project.
Bulgaria was to be the first EU member state for South Stream to cross.
"It is hardly worth involving ourselves in this game," Bodrova opined.
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