Russian FM's Visit 'Could Result in Three Options' on South Stream

Opinions | July 7, 2014, Monday // 14:03|  views

Former Bulgarian ambassador to Russia Iliyan Vasilev. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to Bulgaria could prompt three scenarios regarding South Stream, a former Bulgarian ambassador to Russia believes.

Bulgaria could declare no violation of the EU's Third Energy Package has been committed; it could also reiterate the position that Sofia could not carry out South Stream without consent from the EU Commission; and it could also state the project is not to be implemented, Iliyan Vasilev, who represented Bulgaria in the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2006, told public broadcaster BNR.

Vasilev, also an expert in energy, believes "a combination of the first two" is likely and the third option is "the most unlikely one".

In his view, the project has never been halted "at a business level, in real life," despite assurances from Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, who insists he ordered that South Stream be frozen.

Vasilev argued it should not be expected of Bulgaria to renounce the position Russia itself maintains on South Stream, which says that Sofia is to abide the inter-governmental agreement made about the project in 2008 putting it at odds with EU norms.

Vasilev's remarks came as Lavrov is visiting Sofia on July 7 and 8.

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Tags: South stream, Sergey Lavrov, EU Commission, Third Energy Package, Iliyan Vasilev, Bulgaria, Russia, Plamen Oresharski


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