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MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Bulgarian companies continue their work on Russia’s South Stream natural gas pipeline project fulfilling all their contractual obligations although Russia announced last year the suspension of its project, Bulgarian diplomat said on Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 1 that the project to build the South Stream gas pipeline was closed due to the European Union’s unconstructive approach to cooperation in that sphere, including Bulgaria’s decision to suspend the construction of the pipeline’s stretch on its territory.
"We closely follow the statements made by public persons in Russia but we also have contractual obligations, which were not cancelled within the frames of those contracts," Bulgarian Ambassador to Russia Boyko Kotsev said in an interview with TASS.
South Stream was Gazprom's global infrastructure project designed to build a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe in order to diversify natural gas export routes and eliminate transit risks.
The South Stream’s overland part was expected to run across Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria with a gas metering station at Tarvisio, Italy, as its terminus.
The South Stream gas project envisaged the pipeline’s offshoots to Croatia and the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The South Stream gas project was estimated at €16 billion and the first gas deliveries were expected to start in late 2015.
The construction of the Bulgarian stretch was launched on October 31, 2013. However, the European Commission later started an anti-monopoly probe into the South Stream project, saying it contradicted the norms of the Third Energy Package, which requires the separation of gas production, transportation and sale to prevent gas suppliers from dominating the infrastructure.