Key Bulgarian Mins Hold Energy Talks in Moscow after Clinton Visit
Bulgarian vice-PM and Minister of Finance Simeon Djankov and Minister of Economy and Energy Traicho Traikov discussed joint energy projects with Russia with Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko Tuesday.
Djankov, Traikov and Bulgarian Minister of Transport Ivaylo Moskovski are on a 3-day visit to the Russian capital Monday-Wednesday, right after the Sunday visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Bulgaria.
Shmatko, together with Djankov and Traikov discussed the extension of units 5 and 6 of the Bulgarian Kozloduy NPP, the project for a second Belene NPP, as well as developments on the South Stream natural gas pipeline.
The Russian Minister of Energy has stated the full commitment of his country to building South Stream, irrespective of Russia's relations with the Ukraine.
The Sofia visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton included an important energy component, with Clinton saying she will send US Eurasian Energy Envoy Richard Morningstar to Sofia over the week.
Clinton called for energy diversification in Bulgaria, which media interpreted as implying a freeing from Russian dependency.
More than 90% of Bulgaria's natural gas consumption is provided by Gazprom, and the country relies on Russia for nuclear energy supplies too.
US company Chevron has expressed strong interests in drilling for shale gas in Bulgaria, but in mid-January the Bulgarian Parliament imposed a moratorum on the technique over environmental concerns.
Another American comany, Westinghouse, has expressed interest in constructing additional units at the Kozloduy NPP.
Over the week, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller is also expected to pay a visit to Bulgaria.
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