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Bulgaria seeks to benefit from tensions between Turkey and Russia

Staff writer |
Bulgaria seeks to benefit from a spat between Turkey and Russia to revive weakened economic ties with Moscow, its main gas supplier, without offending Ankara.

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In a sign of thawing relations, Sofia last week hosted a meeting of the Bulgarian-Russian economic cooperation committee - the first since the 2014 failure of the South Stream pipeline project.

The multi-billion-dollar plan had aimed to deliver Russian gas to Europe via the Black Sea and the Balkans while bypassing conflict-ridden Ukraine.

But EU and NATO member Bulgaria, under pressure from both Brussels and Washington, ended up suspending the deal.

Reacting to the snub, Russia redrew plans to transport its gas via a new undersea pipeline called TurkStream. But these too were shelved after the downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish fighter jet on the Syrian border in November.

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