Russia's gas giant Gazprom signed a deal with Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) on establishing a South Stream Bulgaria AD joint venture to oversee the construction of the Bulgarian section of the South Stream pipeline. The deal was signed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borisov. Borisov said Bulgaria expected the end of talks concerning gas price in the near future. "I hope to receive an answer from Prime Minister Putin concerning the conditions of the Russian gas supply in the near future since it is a very important issue for the Bulgarian economy," Borisov said at a joint press conference after the signing of the deal. Putin said Bulgaria's incomes from the Russian gas transit via the South Stream pipeline would increase to $2.5 billion euros from the current $600 million euros.
The South Stream project, in which Russia, Bulgaria and Greece are partners, stipulates the construction of a 300-kilometer pipeline from Burgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast to Alexandroupolis on the Greek Aegean Sea coast. The pipeline, which is considered a rival to the EU-backed Nabucco, is scheduled for launch in December 2015. South Stream Bulgaria AD is created on the parity basis. The joint venture will be registered in Bulgaria.