Bulgaria President: Gazprom May Not Interfere with Our Sovereignty

Business » ENERGY | April 25, 2009, Saturday // 13:45| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria President: Gazprom May Not Interfere with Our Sovereignty

The Bulgarian President Parvanov emphasized Friday that the Russian energy giant must respect Bulgaria's sovereignty.

"I request that Gazprom should not determine with whom they can be keeping in contact in Bulgaria, pretty please. Gazprom has to respect our sovereignty. I am only dealing with the leadership of the Russian Federation and not with some private company", Parvanov said explicitly at the closing press conference of the Sofia Energy Summit when asked about recent Gazprom comments on the arrangements of the South Stream gas pipeline.

Parvanov also explained the position of the Bulgarian side which insisted that the Russians agreed on a package energy deal in which the final agreement on the South Stream gas transit pipeline would be bound to Bulgarian demands for lower natural gas prices.

He reiterated the formal Bulgarian position that a separate South Stream pipe would run along Bulgaria's own gas transit network instead of the latter being used as a permanent part of the Russian-sponsored project.

"Journalists should not just write, they also must read", Bulgaria's President said to the press before reminding that this arrangement had been included in the South Stream agreement signed by him and former Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sofia in January 2008, and had not been changed.

"It's high time that Brussels, the European Commission realized that South Stream must have its place in the European energy system because it involves several EU member states as partners, and is executed by several EU companies", Parvanov also said.

Even though he made it clear Bulgaria was in no rush to sign the final agreement with Russia for South Stream, Parvanov also pointed out the deal would better be signed before the coming Parliamentary Elections in Bulgaria after which a new government will be in place, thus, practically setting the end of May 2009 as a deadline.

He did mention, however, that the South Stream agreement might be signed within a couple of days during Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev's trip to Moscow, even though Stanishev is going to the Russian capital as part of the cultural and economic program of the Year of Bulgaria in Russia, and specifically for energy talks.

At the end, Parvanov stated the status quo provided no energy security for Bulgaria, and that the country's energy security could only be guaranteed through combining a number of sources including South Stream, Nabucco, the inter-system gas connection to Greece, liquefied natural gas terminals, and new storage facilities, among others.


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Tags: Sofia Energy Summit, energy summit, Natural Gas for Europe, president, Georgi Parvanov, Russia, Sergey Stanishev, South stream
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