The construction of the South Stream Pipeline remains suspended, as reported by Bulgarian National Radio based on Russian sources. Earlier the Standard, a Bulgarian newspaper, stated that the construction of the South Stream Pipeline may resume in the next few weeks. They reported that their sources stated that the delay is due to the deterioration of Russian-Turkish relations and the refusal of the Turkish Stream project which was discussed as an alternative to the South Stream.
On Monday, a representative of the press service of the Council of Ministers in Bulgaria told Sputniknews that Bulgarian authorities are not aware of any negotiations with Russia about restarting the South Stream Pipeline construction. The TASS news agency was informed by the Russian Ministry of Energy that the status of the South Stream pipeline project remains unchanged and all work has been halted.
The South Stream project was initiated to transport gas supplies to Europe through Bulgaria. It was suspended by the Russians in December 2014. Russia explains that this decision was made due to pressure from the EU on Bulgaria.
Reports regarding the resumption of the project are being published amid reports that Gazprom has terminated its contract with the Bulgarian gas company, Overgas Inc. On December 31st, Russia stopped supplying gas to Bulgaria through Overgas and started replacing lost gas supplies through the Bulgargas state company. According to Euractiv, an online news source published in Brussels, just a week earlier Sasho Donchev, the director of Overgas, wrote a letter to the European Commission alleging that Moscow intended to restart the South Stream Pipeline project despite the fact that it is not in compliance with EU requirements, Tatiana Waksberg, a Radio Svoboda correspondent said.