OREANDA-NEWS. Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference following negotiations with his Serbian counterpart, Alexander Vucic, accused Bulgaria of deliberately delaying the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and threatened to find alternative variants for implementing this project if Sofia refuses to assist.

According to the Russian leader, the Bulgarian authorities are deliberately delaying the construction of the TurkStream on their territory, despite repeated assurances to the contrary, as well as repeated requests from Moscow to ensure the supply of Russian gas through Turkey to Bulgaria.

According to Putin, Sofia has repeatedly requested that this project be implemented at all costs after it disrupted the building South Stream gas pipeline. “But here, apparently, they are making unhurried work under pressure from outside,” the president concluded.

Putin offered to observe how the TurkStream project would be implemented in Bulgaria in the near future. “If the Bulgarians do not want to (not the Bulgarians, but the Bulgarian leadership), we will find other ways to realize our capabilities in the south of Europe,” the Russian leader stated.

The head of state considered it possible for Serbia to participate in the transit of Russian gas through the TurkStream. “The Serbian section of the gas pipeline from the borders of Bulgaria to Hungary is almost ready, 90 % of the pipes have already been laid,” he said. Putin also said that the laying of pipes to continue the TurkStream in Serbia will be completed in the next few weeks.