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Bulgaria supports South Stream construction, foreign minister says

July 07, 2014, 17:21 UTC+3 SOFIA
Earlier, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and Bulgaria emphasized the need to build South Stream on schedule time
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Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin

© EPA/TAMAS KOVACS

THE SOUTH STREAM PROJECT
Gazprom’s $45 billion South Stream project, slated to open in 2018 and deliver 64 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe, is a strategy for Russia to bypass politically unstable Ukraine as a transit country, and helps ensure the reliability of gas supplies to Europe.

The project stipulates for the offshore gas pipeline section to run under the Black Sea from the Russkaya compressor station on the Russian coast to the Bulgarian coast. The total length of the offshore section will be around 900 kilometers, the maximum depth - over two kilometers and the design capacity — 63 billion cubic meters. There are two optional routes for the onshore gas pipeline section: either north-westwards or south-westwards from Bulgaria.

The 900-kilometer-long undersea section of the pipeline will run from the gas compressor facility at Beregovaya, on Russia's Black Sea coast, near Arkhipo-Osipovka, towards the city of Burgas, in Bulgaria. The sea's maximum depth on this route is 2,000 meters.

South Stream is a strategic project for Europe's energy security and should be implemented by the end of 2015. Work is currently underway to draft a feasibility study for the marine section across the Black Sea and the surface section running through transit countries.

The overall capacity of the marine section of the pipeline will be 63 billion cubic meters per year. It is worth about €8.6 billion.

SOFIA, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Bulgaria supports construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin said on Monday after talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The ministers’ meeting was held behind closed doors.

“South Stream is very important for Bulgaria and Southeastern Europe,” the foreign minister said. “We support construction of the gas pipeline in accordance with European legislation and hope a dialogue with the European Commission will help to launch its construction,” Vigenin said.

Earlier, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and Bulgaria emphasized the need to build South Stream on schedule time.

Russia is ready to continue the dialogue with all parties concerned, Lavrov said after talks with Bulgarian counterpart Kristian Vigenin on Monday.

“Russia expressed readiness to continue a constructive dialogue with all parties concerned — with the member-countries of the project and with the European Commission,” he said.

“I'd like our European partners, including Bulgaria's friends, not to take decisions based on what concessions Russia is ready to make,” Lavrov said.

“All problems should be solved jointly. The South Stream project is not an exception,” he noted.

Kristian Vigenin added that Bulgaria was set to develop relations with Russia despite differences regarding specific issues. “We would like to actively develop these relations in the future despite differences on certain issues,” the Bulgarian minister said.

“We speak for activation of trade turnover between our two countries,” he said.

Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev called Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Bulgaria a landmark event. He noted that it coincided with celebrations marking the 135th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

 

Bulgarian PM praises South Stream gas project

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski considers the Russian-led South Stream gas project one of the priorities for Bulgaria.

“We showed our interest in implementing the South Stream project. We achieved considerable progress in our work,” Oresharski said at a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

The European Commission demanded Bulgaria suspend the work on the project. “Our country gave its comments. I believe that we have enough arguments to continue the project,” he said.

The South Stream gas project is very important for Bulgaria. The government will exert maximum effort to continue it within European legislation, Oresharski said.

 

“Creation of military-political alliance counter-productive”

Russia’s top diplomat has said block confrontation is part of the Cold War policy and counter-productive.

“Today there are no opposing military-political alliances in Europe,” Sergei Lavrov told Bulgaria’s Focus News Agency on Monday.

“The creation of any alliances is counter-productive. The events in Ukraine and around it prove this,” Lavrov said.

“It is evident that joint efforts can help ensure prosperity and well-being on the European continent, strengthen stability and successfully fight trans-border challenges and threats,” he stressed.

“The priorities are to ensure equal and indivisible security, to rely upon international law and to strengthen the United Nations’ central role,” Lavrov said.

“The principles of a state’s sovereignty and the non-interference into internal affairs have priority significance,” he added.

“Russia believes that global and regional problems should be solved through cooperation and compromises,” Lavrov said.

“We think that Russia and the EU will be able to promote an idea of creating a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantics to the Pacific Ocean - with the participation of all states concerned. I’m sure that there are all prerequisites in order to carry out this task,” he noted.

“We consider Bulgaria an important partner and we’re building a pragmatic and mutually advantageous dialogue. We believe that relations with Bulgaria should not depend on the political situation,” Lavrov said.

“It is important for us that Bulgaria’s membership has no negative impact on bilateral relations, including on the implementation of mutually advantageous projects,” he added.

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski has said the country is committed to diplomatic ways for the conflict resolution in Ukraine.

“Bulgaria will back any diplomatic efforts aimed at settling the crisis in Ukraine. The sooner this will happen the better,” Oresharski said at talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

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