Russia’s Gazprom has asked Romanian state-owned gas pipeline operator Transgaz to join the South Stream gas pipeline project, Economy Minister Adriean Videanu announced today.

Asked after media speculation whether Gazprom invited Romania to join South Stream, Videanu told reporters: “I know Transgaz was invited,” reports Reuters.

Further details are expected to be confirmed at a later press conference, but ministry officials clarified that talks were ongoing.

The Gazprom-led South Stream pipeline project has been designed to bypass Ukraine to transport Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then onto Serbia and Europe.