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Bulgaria takes South Stream as project to improve energy security — FM

July 04, 2014, 19:51 UTC+3 SOFIA

“We consider South Stream as European project, not only because several EU states participate in it, but also because it should match European legislation and standards as European project,” he says

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

SOFIA, July 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Bulgaria considers gas project South Stream as an effective measure to improve energy security in the country, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin said in an exclusive interview with ITAR-TASS.

“The position which Bulgaria stated repeatedly is that implementation of South Stream project is important in view of diversification of gas delivery routes and in economic aspect,” the Bulgarian foreign minister said.

“We believe that all projects which can diversify sources and routes should be taken as part of measures to improve energy security. We consider South Stream as a European project, not only because several EU states participate in it, but also because it should match European legislation and standards as a European project,” the minister noted.

South Stream is a global infrastructure project which Russian energy giant Gazprom is implementing, building a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic metres through the Black Sea to countries in Southern and Central Europe to diversify gas export routes and eliminate transit risks.

The European Commission is concerned that this project will increase Russia’s influence in Europe largely and will permit implementing a rivalling European gas pipeline project of “southern corridor” which should connect Europe with Central Asia bypassing Russia. In the autumn of the previous year the European Commission launched an anti-monopoly probe regarding South Stream project which, according to its estimates, contradicts the EU third energy package rules. However, the European Commission ignored the fact that intergovernmental agreements on South Stream were concluded back in 2008, so, a year before the third energy package was enacted with retroactive effect despite world legal practice.

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