During his visit to Bulgaria, Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic spoke about moral in intergovernmental energy affairs, indirectly dismissing allegations of the countries growing dependence on Russian gas imports
Constructing South Stream gas pipeline would not make Bulgaria and Serbia dependent on Russian gas. The project is an opportunity for Serbia and Bulgaria to boost their energy security and deliver natural gas to other countries, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said, as quoted by BNR. Nikolic is on an official visit in Bulgaria today.
“South Stream is not the only option for Bulgaria, but it is a great chance for both our countries to attain other gas markets”, Nikolic stated.
The construction investment in Bulgaria amounts to EUR 3.3 billion, while the Serbian part of the gas pipeline would cost EUR 1.4 billion, according to Russia’s estimates. Nikolic expressed his belief that a project as massive as South Stream would certainly increase the energy security of Serbia and Bulgaria.
Serbia’s president also spoke about moral in intergovernmental energy affairs, indirectly dismissing allegations of the countries growing dependence on Russian gas imports:
“France would never say that it depends on Russian gas and Russia would not consider cutting the supplies to France. There is a certain aspect of moral proper to these intergovernmental affairs”, Nikolic said, adding that any gas or oil pipeline and energy generation project, be it coal, renewable or nuclear, should be considered a step ahead for Serbia and Bulgaria.
South Stream is currently on of the key project in the socialist government in Bulgaria, along with revived nuclear power plant project Belene, commissioned to Russia’s Atomstroyexport. Prime-minister Plamen Oresharski and his cabinet have been often criticised for pushing ahead with these projects which are seen as detrimental to the Bulgarian economy.
The current opposition, formed by democrats, alarmed that at some EUR 400 m would be lost, if Bulgaria goes ahead with South Stream, as a currently functioning pipeline from the Romanian border to Provadia in Northeastern Bulgaria. DSB (Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria) also warned about possible impending sanctions by the EC, if the entire capacity of South Stream is allocated to Gazprom, which would be a violation to the liberalisation rules in the EU. In 2008, the so called Triple Coalition government had already secured 100% of the planned pipe’s capacity exclusively for Gazprom.