Medvedev: Turkish Stream not to be extended across Bulgaria without EU firm guarantees
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the decision to extend the Turkish Stream pipeline across Bulgaria depends on whether Sofia can get firm guarantees that the European Union will not obstruct the plans for gas supplies via the new gas pipeline.
"The new line should not suffer the fate of South Stream," Medvedev told the Bulgarian newspaper Trud.
The decision depends on whether Bulgaria "can get firm guarantees" that the EU "will not obstruct the plans for gas supplies via the new gas pipeline," the PM noted.
Medvedev noted that the option to extend the second branch of the Turkish Stream to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary is being worked out. "Which extension option for Turkish Stream is ultimately chosen will largely depend on the availability of gas transport infrastructure. That, in turn, depends on the involvement and concrete actions of the governments in the respective countries," the head of the Russian government noted.
In this regard, the PM said that he is already seeing progress in Bulgaria. "Bulgartransgaz has recently completed the open season procedure – the collection of binding bids to reserve future gas transmission capacities. Also, Bulgartransgaz has made the final investment decision on the project to develop and expand its gas transmission system. The road to beginning construction work is all clear," Medvedev stressed.
In 2014, Russia halted the implementation of the South Stream pipeline, which was intended to traverse the Black Sea to deliver Russian natural gas through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to Italy and Austria to bypass the territory of Ukraine. Moscow gave up the project as the European Commission opposed it over alleged breaches of EU energy legislation.