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SOFIA, January 14. /TASS/. The current Moscow visit by European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic will have a final say in the future of the South Stream gas pipeline project, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said in an interview with the Standard newspaper on Wednesday.
“I have agreed with European envoy Sefcovic that he will inform me about the results immediately after his talks in Moscow, he will tell me whether it is Russia’s final decision to abandon the South Stream project and what Moscow thinks about the prospect of building a gas hub,” he said.
“Our energy ministry is ready to present its proposals on this project - how it can be realized and it will be managed. The European Commission will neither sell not buy gas, it will only organize transparent procedures. The project has good chances,” Borisov said, adding he hopes the Nabucco West gas project might be resumed along with the gas hub project.
Problems with the construction of the South Stream pipeline began after Brussels in 2012 initiated an investigation into the project’s compliancy with the Third Energy Package, which, among other things, bound the Russian side to reserve up to 50% of the capacity of the would-be South Stream pipeline for independent gas producers. When Russia refused to abide by these requirements, the European Commission literally compelled Bulgaria to block the pipeline’s construction. Being unable to begin the construction of the seabed section of the pipeline across the Black Sea, Russia abandoned this project and decided to build a gas pipeline to Turkey instead.