11:34 GMT06 June 2020
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    Bulgaria's Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski announced that Bulgarian delegation will visit Moscow on December 19 to discus the possible continuation of the South Stream gas pipeline construction project.

    BELGRADE, December 16 (Sputnik) — A Bulgarian delegation will visit Moscow on December 19 to discuss the possible continuation of the South Stream gas pipeline construction project, Bulgaria's Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski said Tuesday.

    "Bulgaria has never intended to stop the South Stream project, we have always wanted it to be implemented, and we would like to hear an official position of the Russian energy minister on this issue," Lukarski told reporters on the sidelines of an economic forum in Belgrade.

    According to Lukarski, Bulgaria insists that the South Stream project could be adjusted to the European regulations and legislation.

    The South Stream was originally designed to bring Russian natural gas to a number of EU countries via a new route under the Black Sea bypassing Ukraine.

    The project 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.

    On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a decision to scrap the South Stream project to be replaced with an alternative pipeline going through Turkey.

    Potential losses of Serbian developers due to project's halt could reach up to 300 million euros ($375 million), according to Serbian Infrastructure Ministry estimates. Bulgaria has lost around 4 billion euros in investment and $600 million of transit charges, country's authorities say. As for Hungary, experts say it has lost up to $600 million in investment.

    Related:

    EU States Involved in South Stream Project Ask EC to Clarify Situation
    EU Must Find Alternatives to South Stream: European Commission Official
    Tags:
    South Stream gas pipeline, Russia, Bulgaria
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