Bulgaria Thinks Failed Oil Pipeline Won't Hurt Gas Talks with Russia

Energy | December 25, 2011, Sunday // 15:02|  views

Bulgaria's Economy MInister Traicho Traikov thinks the renunciation of the BA oil pipeline won't hurt the Bulgarian-Russian gas talks. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's "killing" of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, a joint project with Russia and Greece, will not affect the current Bulgarian-Russian natural gas supplies talks, according to Economy Minister Traicho Traikov.

Traikov commented on the Bulgarian-Russian negotiations for new gas supply contracts as of 2012 between Bulgargaz and Gazprom on Sunday, a couple of weeks after the Bulgarian government formally declared it refused to participate in the pipeline project to transport Russian oil from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean circumventing the Turkish Straits.

The Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism declared, however, that Bulgaria's gas talks with Russia are completely commercially based.

"I think that since the very start of the term of the current government it has been clear for everybody that we care for our good relations with Russia on a mutually beneficial basis, as much as it is clear we aren't willing to politicize them and to let them be used for other commercial relations between the two countries," Traikov told BTA Sunday.

In early December 2011, Bulgaria's government announced it would terminate its participation in the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project, explaining that it was economically unfavorable for the country.

Bulgaria's Finance Minister Simeon Djankov revealed that his country will seek a termination of the trilateral intergovernmental agreement by mutual consent and if the request is rejected, it will pull out of the oil pipeline project in 12 months, as one of the clauses of the contract stipulates.

Ever since the center-right government of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov took office in the summer of 2009, it has been balking at the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, which had been promoted vigorously by the formed Socialist-led Stanishev Cabinet and the Socialist President of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov. It has also been met with staunch resistance along Bulgaria's southern Black Sea coast over environmental concerns.

In September, Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said it will freeze the construction of the troubled project.

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Tags: Transneft, Russia, Simeon Djankov, oil pipeline, Burgas-Alexandroupolis, Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, Gazprom, Bulgargaz, Traicho Traikov, Economy Minister, gas supplies, Russian gas, natural gas, natural gas supplies


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