Bulgaria’s Decision to Halt South Stream Pipeline Needs Clarification – Kremlin

MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti) — The Kremlin believes that it is hasty to comment on the decision of Bulgaria’s authorities to suspend the South Stream gas pipeline project, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

“[The issue] needs to be clarified, it is early to say anything,” Peskov said.

Russia launched the construction of the South Stream pipeline bypassing Ukraine across the Black Sea for gas deliveries to the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe in 2012.

The European Commission insists that Russia’s bilateral talks with the transit countries — Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovenia — violate EU legislation and has pressured Bulgaria to stop the construction on its territory.

The Russian Energy Ministry told RIA Novosti Sunday that Moscow had received no official notifications from Bulgaria on its intention to suspend works under the project and was planning to discuss the issue with the European Commission on Monday.

Russia has already initiated legal proceedings in the World Trading Organization against the EU’s Third Energy Package, under which the owners of pipelines located in the region cannot be companies associated with gas production.

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