Both Bulgaria and Romania might profit from South Stream, stated Bulgarian economy minister Traikov, commenting on views that the two countries are competing for a place in the Russian project.
Speaking in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Traikov stated that there are many opportunities for the route of the South Stream pipe and that there are possibilities for branches from the main route that can lead to neighboring countries like Romania.
Friday Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller came to Bulgaria to negotiate details on South Stream, before which he visited Romania and signed important memoranda that renewed speculations about a possible competition between the two neighboring countries.
Minister Traikov commented that the document signed in Bucharest is the same as the one signed by Bulgaria back in 2008 and that Bulgaria is at a much more advanced stage in negotiations with the Russian party than Romania.
Traikov vowed Bulgaria is committed to the project, with a model of investment split in half between it and Russia.
He stressed that the South Stream project is moving according to schedule. The next steps are the creation of the Russian-Bulgarian joint venture for the project, as well as the conducting of a full pre-investment analysis.
The latter will include the full details of the costs related to the project and the investments each party needs to make.
The Bulgarian economy and energy minister further revealed that the project company will be headed by a Bulgarian national.
Regarding the route of the South Stream pipeline, he said it is not fully determined, but stays according to initial plans. In particular, this means that the pipe would cross the Bulgarian-Serbian border nearby Zajcar and not Dimitrovgrad, as Serbia has insisted.
Traikov further commented that matter regarding the price of Russian natural gas for Bulgaria is not connected with South Stream negotiations.