The European Commission has formally requested Bulgaria to send information on the South Stream gas pipeline tender as it believes that public contracts for the pipeline work there were awarded in breach of EU legislation, he said.
The request means the start of the so-called infringement procedure, which could result in the imposition of penalties on Bulgaria.
The European Commission will decide on further actions after receiving information from Bulgaria, which has a month to reply, he said.
The South Stream pipeline was designed to carry Russian gas to the EU bypassing Ukraine. Gas will be pumped to the Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna before extending overland through Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia to supply gas to the Western Europe via Italy and Austria. The pipeline’s capacity amounts to 63 billion cubic meters.