MOSCOW, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The planned South Stream natural gas pipeline makes sense for European consumers using more and more energy, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said.
Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller welcomed Dimitar Gogov, the executive director of Bulgaria's gas company Bulgargaz, to Moscow to discuss bilateral ties in the energy sector.
Talks, Gazprom said in a statement, focused on natural gas supplies to Bulgaria and the contractual relationship between the two countries.
Both sides "shared the opinion that given the inevitable gas demand growth in Europe, timely implementation of South Stream would meet the interests of millions of European consumers," the Russian gas company said.
The meeting follows a declaration by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov that the European Investment Bank agreed to help his country build its section of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline.
Nabucco would run through Turkey to Austria, crossing Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The route closely follows Russia's plans for South Stream, considered a rival to Nabucco.
A Swiss energy group, meanwhile, announced plans to expand a wind farm near Kazanlak in central Bulgaria to 72.5 megawatts, the Sofia News Agency reports.
Bulgaria as a member of the European Union is required to use renewable energy to meet 20 percent of its demand by 2020.