Russian Ambassador: South Stream Was 'Gift' to Bulgaria

Diplomacy | December 5, 2014, Friday // 16:27|  views

Russia's Ambassador to Sofia Yuriy Isakov. Photo by BGNES

Russia's Ambassador to Bulgaria Yuriy Isakov has said the construction of South Stream was "a happy development" Bulgaria should have fought for.

"No-one offers gifts like that... [gifts] like South Stream," the website Dnevnik.bg quotes him as answering to a question during an official reception on Thursday evening.

"Has anybody offered Bulgaria anything like South Stream? When there is such a happy event or happy development, one should fight for it. One should even show teeth if necessary, it national interests should be defended," Isakov added.

The diplomat's comments follow the announcement from Russia that South Stream is not to be carried out over Bulgaria's decision to freeze it in June this year.

Isakov cited Vladimir Putin, who in his words had been clear enough the project is "over."

He called on Bulgaria to find power within to stand up for its interests, instead of complaining about being "a small country".

He pointed to the lack of "political will" as a main challenge if Bulgaria is to fulfill that goal.

The Russian Ambassador also claimed that affiliation to NATO, the EU or "any other union" does not rule out pursuing national interests.

Sofia is still waiting to receive a notice from Russia about the termination of the South Stream project. Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov agreed with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday that Brussels and Sofia would work together to find a viable response to Russia's move.

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Tags: Yuriy Isakov, Boyko Borisov, Jean-Claude Juncker, Russia, Bulgaria, South stream

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