* Prime Minister says awaiting resolution to EU concerns
* Russian energy ministry to raise issue with EU -spokesman
SOFIA, June 8 Bulgaria will not resume work on
the Russian-led South Stream gas pipeline project until it
receives the all clear from the European Commission, Prime
Minister Plamen Oresharski said on Sunday.
In a move that could inflame tensions between Russia and the
European Union, the 28-nation bloc's executive arm last week
asked the Balkan country to suspend work on Gazprom's
South Stream project pending a decision on whether it complies
with EU law.
The pipeline is being built to transport 63 billion cubic
metres of gas per year under the Black Sea through Bulgaria to
central and southern Europe, bypassing Ukraine, as Russia seeks
to cement its position as Europe's dominant gas supplier.
Bulgaria is the EU's poorest member and almost wholly
dependent on Russian gas, but Prime Minister Oresharski said it
would comply with the European Commission's request.
"We discussed the South Stream issue and the European
Commission request," Oresharski told reporters after meeting
U.S. senators in Sofia on Sunday, adding that Bulgaria will
continue work on the project only after the EU's concernes have
U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria Marcie Ries said on Friday that
the United States was deeply concerned by Bulgaria's choice of
Russia's Stroytransgaz, a consortium owned by sanctions-hit
businessman Gennady Timchenko, to build the Bulgarian section of
State-controlled Russian gas exporter Gazprom is pushing
ahead with the $40 billion project despite Western sanctions
against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
A spokesman for the Russian energy ministry said that Moscow
has not received any official notification from Sofia that
Bulgaria has suspended the work on the project.
"We are planning to bring up the issue during our talks
tomorrow with (EU Commissioner Guenther) Oettinger," the
Ukraine, Russia and European Commission officials meet in
Brussels on Monday evening to continue talks how to resolve a
dispute over gas prices.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Additional reporting by Lidia
Kelly and Vladimir Soldtakin in Moscow; Editing by David