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Bulgaria ready to join South Stream pipeline project

Bulgaria's president said his country would participate in the construction of a new natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea.

Russian energy giant Gazprom and Italy's ENI signed on June 23 a memorandum on the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, which will stretch for 900 kilometer (560 miles) along the seabed from Russia to Bulgaria with a maximum depth of over 2 kilometer (1.2 miles).

"We are ready to join the South Stream project," Georgi Parvanov said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Balkan energy summit in Zagreb on Sunday. "The project will give us the opportunity to develop Bulgaria's economy. It will have a positive effect on southeastern Europe," Parvanov said.

Speaking at a press conference in the Croatian capital, Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom's deputy CEO, said other participants could join the construction of the new pipeline, with estimated annual capacity of about 30 billion cubic meters of gas. He said third parties would be able to participate in the construction of land-based stretches of the pipeline, while Gazprom and Eni would exclusively share equal stakes in the Black Sea underwater section. (