Bulgaria said Monday it would take delivery of crucial Russian gas supplies from January via the TurkStream pipeline that runs under the Black Sea and avoids Ukraine.
"We have finalised with Gazprom a change of entry point for deliveries," which would become the Strnadja 2 site on the Turkish-Bulgarian border, Energy Minister Tememoujka Petkova said in a statement that referred to the Russian gas giant.
The move should lead to 70 million leva (35 million euros, $39 million) in savings on transit taxes paid to Romania for gas that had first come through Ukraine, and a five percent decrease in the price of Russian gas, the minister said.
Bulgaria is almost entirely dependent on Russia for natural gas supplies and the TurkStream pipeline that is scheduled to begin operations in January is expected to provide 2.9 billion cubic metres (101 billion cubic feet) per year.
In January 2009, an interruption in gas supplies via Ukraine left Bulgaria stranded, and the country has begun to diversify its sources, launching a pipeline via Greece to tap into gas supplies from the Caspian Sea.
It is also building a link from the TurkStream line to deliver Russian gas to Serbia.