Russia has pledged an 11-percent gas discount for Bulgaria in exchange for faster progress on the construction of the Bulgarian leg of the South Stream gas pipeline, Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev said. Dobrev returned from a one-day trip to Moscow where he had talks with senior Russian officials over Sofia’s decision to scrap the Belene nuclear power project, and over the price of Russian gas for Bulgaria, the Novinite news portal reported. On Wednesday, the Bulgarian government abandoned the controversial Belene project. Dobrev admitted that Gazprom\'s 11-percent was only for a nine-month period - from April 1 through the end of 2012. In exchange, Bulgaria committed to speeding up the construction of the Russian-sponsored South Stream pipeline as in 2013, the EU is introducing new requirements for access to energy networks.