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Bulgarian FM Says South Stream 'Very Important' for Bulgaria

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on July 7 that the South Stream pipeline "is very important for Bulgaria and Southeastern Europe."

Kristian Vigenin also told Lavrov in Sofia that Bulgaria hopes "a dialogue with the European Commission will help to launch its construction."

Bulgaria's government had said in May it was freezing construction on its overland portion of the pipeline, which aims to carry Russian natural gas under the Black Sea and through the Balkans to the Europe Union.

Brussels has expressed concerns it could violate EU antimonopoly laws.

Lavrov is to visit Slovenia, another South Stream transit country, on July 8.

Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow and Belgrade could reach a deal on South Stream in the next few days.

Medvedev met with Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Moscow on July 7.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS