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22 May, 2018 10:48

Too late for Bulgaria to ask Russia for gas pipeline after ditching South Stream – Russian senator

Too late for Bulgaria to ask Russia for gas pipeline after ditching South Stream – Russian senator

Bulgaria missed its chance to have a gas pipeline from Russia after backing out of the South Stream project four years ago, Russian Senator Aleksey Pushkov wrote on Twitter.

During his visit to Moscow on Monday, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev proposed building a direct pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria.

"Bulgaria ditching the South Stream was a gross error, Turkey immediately seized its chance [with Turkish Stream], and Germany is building Nord Stream 2. A good lesson for Sofia," Pushkov wrote.

The South Stream project was cancelled by Bulgaria following pressure from the European Union and the United States. The final decision to stop the project was announced in June 2014 by the Bulgarian authorities following the visit of US Senators John McCain, Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson.

The project, which was officially agreed in 2012, was seen as an important step towards energy security for Europe, as it would bypass politically unstable Ukraine. Since then, Russia has announced it would re-route its gas flow to Southern Europe through Turkey.

Turkish Stream will consist of two lines. The first, with a maximum capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters, will deliver Russian natural gas directly to Turkey. The second is intended to deliver gas to European customers through Turkey. The possible clients of Turkish Stream are Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

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