Bulgaria ready to issue South Stream permits
Bulgaria is ready to issue all the necessary permits for the construction of the South Stream pipeline, according to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. He said it will up to Gazprom whether the pipeline is built or not.
Borisov said he has the full support and understanding of the European Union and that Bulgaria is not in the wrong and should not suffer financial consequences for stopping the project, the Bulgarian news agency BGNES reports.
Bulgaria was set to reap $600 million per year in transit fees, and investment on the Buglarian side was estimated at 3.5-4 billion euros.
Russia was originally planning to build a pipeline to Southern Europe to directly export gas, but EU legislation was used to continually delay the project. On December 1 during a visit to Turkey, Putin announced the pipeline would run through Turkey to Greece, instead of Bulgaria as originally proposed.
“Thus, our country is now able to fulfill its obligations on the preparatory activities, particularly for the offshore part of the pipeline, and to issue a building permit,” Borisov said.
The Prime Minister added that, “if Gazprom stops the project, despite the permits, it will be considered guilty and not Bulgaria.”
A Bulgarian government delegation reportedly planned to fly to Moscow this week to clarify the situation over South Stream construction.
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