Russia and Bulgaria smooth out South Stream road

First Deputy Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov says a joint 'road map' for construction of the South Stream gas pipeline will be signed within days.

Speaking to journalists after talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Zubkov said the agreement would put an end to pricing issues that had cast Bulgarian participation in the project into some doubt.

"The project for construction of the South Stream gas pipeline has been prepared to the highest level, and the signing of a 'road map' in the next few days will become a concrete step in its implementation. We will make sure that this project is profitable for both Bulgaria and
Russia."

The Bulgarian Prime Minister hailed the prospect of an agreement adding that talks with the Russian First deputy Prime Minister had been fruitful for Bulgaria.

"By reconciling the contentious issues we have doubled or tripled the South Stream project's profitability for Bulgaria. On Thursday experts will finalise the details of the 'road map' relating to the project implementation and by 2015 the gas pipeline will start working."
Zubkov noted that the onus was now on the two parties to speed up organisational issues relating to documentation and preliminary studies, with general agreement also being reached on the possibility of using Bulgaria's existing gas pipeline infrastructure for the South Stream project as well as gas volumes being transited by Bulgaria increased by 63 billion cubic meters.