Bulgarian PM Binds Trip to Russia with Gas Prices
The forthcoming negotiations on gas prices for Bulgaria will determine the response of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, to the invitation from Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the South Stream gas pipeline.
Borisov made the comment Tuesday during his official visit to Slovakia. He is traveling to Brussels later Tuesday to attend the summit of the leaders of 15 EU Member States.
The invitation, which was sent Monday, is also addressed to Economy and Energy Minister, Delyan Dobrev, and the Head of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH, Mihail Andonov. It is expected that Putin will try to bring together the top officials from all countries participating in the project.
Borisov further explained that during his last conversation with Putin the two have agreed to have another phone call to decide when the Russian President is coming to Bulgaria and if the Bulgarian PM would agree to travel to Russia.
"When we iron out Russia's policies by the end of the year, I will inform you what I will do," said he, firmly binding his decision to attend the groundbreaking ceremony with the signing of the contract for Russian natural gas supplies, particularly with gas prices.
"I am concerned with gas prices and long-term contracts. The shortest the term, the better, because we will find plenty of gas in the Black Sea in the next 3-4 years. We must steer away from contracts that span for over 6 years because this is when we expect to start exploring natural gas," Borisov stressed.
Asked by a reporter about his expectations about Russia lowering gas prices and by how much, he replied the issue will be commented on Thursday, when the contract is to be sealed.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the South Stream gas pipeline is scheduled for December 7 in the Russian town of Anapa, on the Black Sea west coast, where the line will begin.
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