Bulgaria 'Must Suspend' South Stream During Procedure -EU Commission

Energy | June 4, 2014, Wednesday // 16:32|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

EU Commission expects that Bulgaria will not pursue activities regarding the construction of South Stream gas pipeline while an infringement procedure is under way.

Antoine Colombani, spokesman for the Commission's Vice-President Joaquin Almunia, said the position of Brussels on that matter remains unchanged after the ruling party in Bulgaria declared Wednesday it would not freeze the pipeline project despite having been asked to do so.

"We really asked Bulgaria to suspend the project while we are carrying out discussions with Bulgarian authorities on the issue," the Bulgarian National Radio quoted Colombani as saying.

He reminded the first stage of an infringement procedure was already in force and its "steps" have been clearly outlined. A second written warning and then a "last" one are to be issued if a certain country does not comply with the Commission's actions. If it does not abide by the requirements it might be taken to the European court.

Colombani's comments came after the EU Commission announced it had launched an infringement procedure against Bulgaria over competition and public procurement issues in the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.

Brussels also believes recent amendments adopted at first reading by Bulgarian Parliament come at odds with the Third Energy Package, as they seek to block third-party access to the offshore section of the pipeline.

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Tags: EU Commission, South stream, Antoine Colombani, Joaquin Almunia, infringement procedure


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