Bulgaria Unaware of Russia's Oil Pipe Cancelation Plans
Bulgaria has not received any official notification Russia plans to withdraw from the project to build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, says.
Djankov, who is in charge of the project, spoke after information was published in Russian media that Moscow is halting financing for the project, mainly because Bulgaria is not paying its dues.
Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, pulled Djankov aside before the latter started talking to reporters with the words: "Come hear what I have said on this."
Traikov stated for the media before the Finance Minister that Bulgaria is fulfilling its commitments regarding the project and if it fails through it definitely would not be our country's fault.
"These moves are common for the Russians – this is a way to tell us they are not pleased with the way the project is progressing. There is a meeting of the project company Trans Balkan Pipeline and the withdrawal of the Russian party is not on the agenda," Djankov said, adding such withdrawal would be a great solution after all and not Bulgaria's fault,
The Minister confirmed Bulgaria had not paid its 2010 installment of EUR 5 M because it is waiting for the project's environmental assessment and assured the country would not owe interest over the delayed payment.
Environmental Minister, Nona Karadzhova, on her part, explained the environmental assessment report had been full of mistakes and omissions and has been returned for revisions. The deadline for its submission is the end of February.
The Eco Ministry had requested more detailed information on the port terminal; on what would be done in cases of eventual oil spill in the Burgas Bay along with the pipeline effect on the nearby lakes which are included as protected areas in Natura 2000.
Karadzhova vows to return the assessment for the third time if the Ministry still finds it unsatisfactory.
If the assessment is approved, the investor must then organize a public discussion on the project and the report and notify all city and town halls in the area.
The assessment is done at the expense of the investor.
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