Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov here on Monday said the South Stream gas pipeline should be built as scheduled, and urged the European Commission to implement a reasonable approach.
He made the statement at a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Kristian Vigenin, after talks for the expansion of bilateral cooperation and the construction of a Bulgarian section of South Stream gas pipeline.
"From our part, we stressed the need for its construction in the planned timeframe and confirmed our willingness to continue for this purpose the constructive dialogue with all interested parties -- as the project participants, as well as the European Commission," Lavrov said.
He said his country respected the Third Energy Package and the right of the EU and its members to impose any rules for cooperation in their territory in all areas, but in accordance with the general rules of international law, these rules can not be applied retrospectively.
In turn, Vigenin expressed the hope that the active dialogue with the European Commission will soon allow resumption the construction of South Stream on Bulgarian territory, which was suspended in early June at the insistence of Brussels.
Lavrov said the situation in Ukraine was also discussed, and it is impossible to have any excuses for delaying an immediate ceasefire.
Before the press conference, the two ministers attended the signing ceremony of a bilateral agreement in the field of healthcare and medical science, and validated a postage stamp dedicated to the 135th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Earlier on Monday, Lavrov also met with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski.