The Russian newspaper Коммерсантъinformed today that Bulgaria might abandon the South Stream pipeline project. This would be the third joint initiative between the two countries to lose Bulgarian attention after the failure of the projects for the construction of NPP ‘Belene’ and Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, reminded Коммерсанть.
The Russian media cited the Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Delyan Dobrev, who said that Sofia could not sign the agreement for the construction of South Stream until 15 November. The main reason behind this statement, according to Коммерсантъ, was that Sofia was not satisfied with the proposed by Russia pumping rate and the rate of return on the project, even after the promise of Gazprom for a discount of 11% of the gas price.
In addition, the Russian newspaper clarified that, if Bulgaria was to abandon the South Stream project, its place would be occupied by Romania.
However, cited by the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) the Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy, Eugenia Haritonova, stated today that ‘Bulgaria will actively participate in the project "South Stream" and , in particular, in the construction of the South Corridor’.
In addition, Haritonova outlined the main priorities of the country’s energy policy, namely avoidance of external dependence on energy supplies and environmental protection. She also said that negotiations for a new contract for gas supplies without intermediaries were taking place between Bulgaria and the Russian Federation.