Bulgarian PM with New Threats to Scrap Belene Nuclear Plant
Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared Tuesday the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the Danube town of Belene will be scrapped over the current terms proposed by the Russian side.
"We will play the cat and mouse game with the Russians," Borisov declared due to the fact the inflation index is yet to be agreed on. He stated he wanted to know if this index will end up being EUR 0.5 M or EUR 2.5 M, and blamed President, Georgi Parvanov, for keeping quiet on the issue, despite the fact he had been the negotiating party at the time.
"EUR 2.5 M could have been the highest inflation index. It is possible some payments were made under it," the PM pointed out, adding if Russia wants to be a loyal partner it must ask for no more than EUR 0.5 M to EUR 1 B.
"Bulgaria cannot be made to pay 4-5 B over what there is in the State budget, as Russia is asking. If we must pay a price of EUR 8-9 B for the Belene NPP – I will NOT pay it! Who ever comes after me, they can do it, if they wish. Are we going to lose 200 M or 2.5 B – this is the question. What funds do we have left then for construction, for providing better life to Bulgarian citizens – money for pensions, education, increase of wages, infrastructure," Borisov stated and appealed to the Russian side to say once and for all how much Belene would cost.
In the beginning of December, the CEO of Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, announced a price of EUR 6.3 B for the NPP, prompting Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, to declare at this price Russia must wait for another government to carry out the project.
Meanwhile, the contractor, "Atomstroyexport" has sent a letter to Rosatom insisting the latter must file a claim against the Bulgarian National Electric Company (NEK) over its failure to fulfill contracts for the building of the NPP.
Traikov said Tuesday that he did not expect the Russians to withdraw, explaining the information came from foreign media and was, most likely, unconfirmed.
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