02:57 GMT08 April 2020
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    The Russian and Bulgarian energy officials are choosing a day for a meeting to discuss the aftermath of scrapping the South Stream gas pipeline.

    MOSCOW, December 17 (Sputnik) – The Russian Energy Ministry is considering the possibility of meeting with representatives of Bulgaria to discuss the situation with the scrapped South Stream gas pipeline to Europe, a ministry spokesperson told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    “We plan to meet, but not on December 19 [as proposed by the Bulgarian side] because the [Russian Energy] minister has a very compact schedule and we received the offer from the Bulgarian side too late,” the spokesperson said.

    Aleksei Pushkov, a member of the Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, speculated on what Bulgaria's aim was in attempting new negotiations based on the proposed EU guidelines that were responsible for disbanding the pipeline.

    "Bulgaria wants to negotiate South Stream on the basis of the EU guidelines. But those guidelines were the ones to spoil the project. What is Sofia hoping for?", Pushkov wrote on his Twitter account.

    On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a decision to scrap the South Stream pipeline across the Black Sea intended to transport Russian natural gas to directly Europe and bypassing Ukraine.

    The pipeline was stalled after the European Commission expressed concern that Russia's bilateral agreements with European transit countries, including Bulgaria, violated the EU Third Energy Package. These guidelines stipulate that owning a pipeline and producing the gas flowing through it is an illegal conflict of interest. Putin called the European Commission's stance on the issue "non-constructive."

    The South Stream project is expected to be replaced with an alternative pipeline going through Turkey with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. Some 14 billion cubic meters of gas will be supplied to Turkey, while the rest is to be pumped to a hub on the Turkish-Greece border for customers in southern Europe.

    Topic:
    South Stream Project Cancelled (42)

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    Tags:
    South Stream gas pipeline, European Commission, Russian Energy Ministry, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria
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