Full stream ahead: Bulgaria wants direct natural gas pipeline from Russia
Amid talk of European energy security and diversification of gas supplies, Bulgaria has proposed building another pipeline to get gas directly from Russia, according to President Rumen Radev.
The Balkan nation currently gets Russian natural gas by transit through Ukraine and other Gazprom customers in Europe. Last year, sales of the blue fuel to Bulgaria reached 3.3 billion cubic meters, 4.7 percent more than in 2016.
“As for the supplies from Russia, Bulgaria needs drop shipment of the gas through the Black Sea. Let’s call it ‘Bulgarian Stream’,” Radev said in an interview with Russian business daily Kommersant.
“The approach is motivated by common sense, as well as by energy efficiency and security demand not only for Bulgaria, but for the entire European Union,” Radev told the media. “Such ambitions do not differ from Germany’s intention to implement the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project”.
At the moment, the Bulgarian authorities are wagering on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which is currently under construction. The country is supposed to get first shipments of Russian gas via the route after 2019. Turkish Stream is set to stretch across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey's border with European neighbors.
The Bulgarian President is currently paying a two-day visit to Russia. Radev is scheduled to meet Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Monday. On Tuesday, he will have his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
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