Bulgaria has announced that it is stopping construction on the South Stream pipeline, which, if completed, would carry 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Europe by a route that avoids Ukraine. The move by Bulgarian authorities comes at least in part at the behest of Brussels, reports the BBC:
The European Commission had sent Bulgarian authorities a letter at the start of the month, asking them to suspend work on the project.The EC claimed Bulgaria may have broken EU public procurement laws by choosing local and Russian bidders.Bulgaria has previously said it is being targeted by Brussels as a means of retaliating against Russia over the situation in Ukraine.
The biggest impediment to mounting a strong response to Russia has been a lack of solidarity for the cause on the part of our major European allies. France, notably, refused to cancel its deal to sell Russia several amphibious assault ships—and Germany’s Merkel didn’t really see this as a problem. But that doesn’t mean the West has given up on finding ways to press Russia.