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MOSCOW, June 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union exerts pressure on the countries that participate in the South Stream project, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at the World Petroleum Congress.
"The European Commission has taken a tough position on transboundary infrastructure projects with Russian participation. I mean the OPAL, South Stream and Yamal-Europe gas pipelines expected to enhance stability and security of supplies to European countries. And today we see that pressure is put on some South Stream project partners. They are required not to participate in the implementation of the project, despite the fact that the partnership is based on the international law," he said.
"Our Bulgarian colleagues are threatened that they will no longer be financed from European funds. And no constructive solutions are offered," Novak noted.
On June 9, Bulgaria said it had suspended preparations for the construction of its section of the South Stream on EU orders, while Serbia said that it will have to postpone laying the pipeline as well after Bulgaria’s decision. Later both countries said that their governments have not changed their plans to lay the pipeline.
The South Stream pipeline will 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 Western Europe via Italy and Austria. The pipeline’s capacity amounts to 63 billion cubic meters.