Russia's Ambassador to Bulgaria: NPP Project No Charity
Moscow is awaiting the payments due for Bulgaria's abandoned nuclear plant project in Belene, the Russian ambassador here has said.
"I do not expect any gifts sent from Moscow to Sofia. I really doubt that Russia has committed to the project out of pure charity. We live in a serious world, in a world of tough competition and specific trade obligations," Ambassador Yuriy Isakov sarcastically said in an interview for Darik radio on Saturday.
He hinted that there is room for potential Russian participation in the construction of a gas-powered plant the government has proposed to build on the site in Belene.
"I do not think the Belene page is closed. The Bulgarian government has some very serious ides about the site. And besides Belene nuclear power plant project is certified, this project is still alive, it has been certified by the European Union," said Isakov.
Earlier this month Kirill Komarov, deputy head of Russian state-owned Rosatom's international business, said Russia has fulfilled all its engagements concerning and is waiting for payments due.
Komarov reminded that Rosatom's subsidiary Atomstroyexport and Bulgaria's National Electricity Company are negotiating the amount of compensations Bulgaria has to pay after it quit Belene, voicing hopes that talks will be completed as soon as possible.
Bulgaria's government announced at the end of March it has abandoned plans to build a new, 2000 megawatt nuclear power plant on the Danube River for which it has contracted Russian state firm Atomstroyexport.
The government has proposed that a gas-powered plant is built on the site in Belene.
Environmentalists had opposed the plant, which had first been proposed when Bulgaria was under communist rule.
The project however remains extremely popular among people from the small and poor town of Belene, who have pinned on it hopes for more jobs and higher living standards.
Originally two reactors were to have been built for the site by Russian company Atomstroyexport, and one of them has already been constructed.
The Bulgarian government has proposed that it is installed at the country's sole nuclear power plant of Kozloduy.
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