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    Bulgaria ratifies South Stream gas pipeline project

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    The Bulgarian parliament has ratified an agreement on building a pipeline to pump natural gas to southern Europe, Vice Premier Igor Sechin said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - The Bulgarian parliament has ratified an agreement on building a pipeline to pump natural gas to southern Europe, Vice Premier Igor Sechin said on Monday.

    The $14 bln South Stream pipeline is expected to annually pump 30 billion cubic meters of Central Asian and Russian gas across the Black Sea to the Balkans and onto other European countries, with the first deliveries scheduled to start in 2013. Apart from Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Italy and Greece are also involved in the project.

    "Positive news has come from Bulgaria. Its parliament ratified on July 25, by an overwhelming majority of 140 votes, the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction of the South Stream project," Sechin, who is in charge of Russia's fuel and energy complex, told a government session.

    Sechin said Russia and Bulgaria had signed the agreement on January 17, 2008.

    Russian energy giant Gazprom is implementing the South Stream project on a parity basis with Italy's Eni.

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