News / Europe

Energy Minister: Bulgaria Has Not Given Up on South Stream

FILE - Workers stand next to a pipe made for the South Stream pipeline at the OMK metal works in Vyksa in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia, April 15, 2014.
FILE - Workers stand next to a pipe made for the South Stream pipeline at the OMK metal works in Vyksa in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia, April 15, 2014.
Reuters
Bulgaria has not given up on plans to build the South Stream pipeline delivering Russian natural gas to Europe and sees the Gazprom-led project as irreversible, Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev said on Monday.
 
Bulgaria said on Sunday it had halted work on the pipeline after the European Union and United States expressed concerns about the project.
 
Designed to bypass Ukraine, the pipeline has inflamed tensions between the EU and Russia after Brussels asked Sofia last week to suspend work pending a decision on whether it complies with EU law.
 
Stoynev said in a statement he was certain South Stream would be built once disputes over how to structure it as a European project are cleared.
 
“If we look at the situation strategically and without emotions, the South Stream project looks irreversible and important for both Europe and Bulgaria,” Stoynev, who is on a visit to China, said.
 
“I am convinced that all pending issues will find a solution.”
 
In response to Bulgaria halting work, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency on Monday as saying: “(We) need to check, it is too early to say anything.”
 
European Commission spokeswoman Sabine Berger declined to comment on Stoynev's statement, but welcomed the position of EU member Bulgaria to halt work.
 
“This is an important step in response to the concerns raised by the Commission last week,” she said.
 
“In the recently adopted European Energy Security Strategy, the European Commission has called for a discussion on South Stream at the upcoming European Council so that a common EU approach can be taken.”
 
Washington has also warned Sofia that picking a consortium led by sanctions-hit Stroitansgaz to build the Bulgarian section of the pipeline could result in sanctions on Bulgarian companies involved.
 
South Stream is being built to pipe 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia, beneath the Black Sea, and through Bulgaria into central and southern Europe.
 
Bulgaria's Stoynev, a staunch supporter of the project, says it will boost the country's energy security and economy. Bulgaria currently gets almost all of its gas from Gazprom via pipeline through Ukraine.
 
“We really are actively working to close the open issues with the European Commission, meaning that we have not abandoned the project,” Stoynev said.
 
State-controlled Gazprom is pushing ahead with the project, expected to be cost around $45 billion, despite Western sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid