Bulgaria joins Turkish Stream
Sofia awaits the European Commission's approval for direct connection to the natural gas pipeline
22 July, 2017
Sofia is awaiting a letter from the European Commission, approving a direct connection from the Turkish Stream pipeline to Bulgaria, and the goal is to overcome energy dependency. This was revealed by a comment made by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov during the annual ambassadors’ meeting hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva on 19 July in Sofia.
To the group of Bulgarian diplomats, the premier highlighted the advantages of building the Balkan Gas Hub, the idea of which is to help the country become a central transit point in the region. According to Borisov, the project will be key, especially after the launch of Turkish Stream.
“Because clients will come and buy at the hub. Then, we will provide transit services, collect transit fees and be in the game. This is the policy I am determined to follow because otherwise Bulgaria will remain nothing more than a client,” said Borisov, adding that he has warned European leaders. “I told them I will sign, rather the Ministry of Energy will sign, the roadmap for 15.7 billion m3 of natural gas from Turkey to Bulgaria. I am currently awaiting a letter from the EC on whether they will allow me to start talks on a direct connection to Bulgaria. Because in the meantime, while these processes are pending, the whole region has become dependent on Turkey,” Borisov commented.
He says that he will break ground on the gas connection with Greece in October together with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras. Borisov will also invite Tsipras to the joint government meeting with Romania to be held in Varna in early September.
He expressed his disappointment with the scrapping of the South Stream project following non-compliance objections. But now the Balkan Gas Hub meets all regulations.
“Turkey, Greece and Italy, all NATO members, signed Turkish Stream and Poseidon, without taking into account any regulations, whilst Nabucco was thrown onto the scrapheap,” Borisov noted.