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April 17, 2021

EU spokesperson: South Stream cannot be EU priority

The South Stream gas pipeline project cannot possibly become a priority project for the European Union, Marlene Holzner, a spokesperson for EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, said on Friday, quoted by Sofia News Agency.

The request that South Stream become an EU priority was made by Bulgarian and Greek PMs Boyko Borisov and George Papandreou following an agreement made on their official meeting in Sofia Tuesday. In her statement, Holzner implied that the European Commission lacks adequate information on the legal framework of the South Stream project and does not have sufficient evidence that it will be in the best interest of member states. Holzner also specified that she has information that gas for South Stream will come from redirected quantities transited on already existing pipes going through Ukraine, which means that no new sources will be used. “Our strategic goal is to support the South Gas Corridor which will help diversify sources of natural gas,” stated the Energy Commissioner’s spokesperson. A key ingredient of the EU South Gas Corridor is projected Nabucco pipeline, which is considered as a rival to South Stream. Bulgaria participates in both Nabucco and South Stream.

Holzner elaborated that the European Commission is obliged to abide by the framework or the Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN), adopted in 2006, which specifies which energy projects are of priority for the EU.

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