Russia says it has overcome differences with Bulgaria over Moscow’s planned South Stream gas route to Europe.
It comes after Vladimir Putin pulled out of a conference in Sofia last week because Bulgaria was not willing to commit to the project. But it remains unclear how they settled the row over whether Russia will get to use Bulgaria’s existing gas transport network or if it is to spend billions of euros building a new one. Vladimir Putin would not be drawn. The Russian Prime Minister simply stated:“These agreements should be rubber-stamped in the near future, in a few weeks probably, and it means there are no more disagreements on this issue.” Russia’s South Stream project needs Bulgaria because of its strategic position between rich gas resources in Russia and central Asia and consumers in Europe. For that reason alone, Bulgaria is also behind the European Union’s Nabucco pipeline as it tries to diversify its energy sources. A winter gas row between Russia and Ukraine halted supplies to millions of European consumers in early January, with Bulgaria among one of the countries worst affected.