Bulgaria-Romania Land Dispute Concerns South Stream Project
The alleged disputed territory on the Black Sea border between Bulgaria and Romania is located on the route of the future South Stream gas pipeline.
The Russia-backed South Stream pipeline project is to carry Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further to Greece, Italy and Austria.
According to diplomatic sources cited by the Mediafax agency and the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), if the argument is decided in favor of Romania, it will get a direct border of 50 linear meters with the continental plateau of Turkey.
The step would benefit Romania by allowing it to establish a direct link with Turkey in case the rival, EU-backed Nabucco gas pipeline gets completed.
The Romanian news agency claims that Bulgaria has already started talks with Exxon about the disputed territory.
The diplomatic sources cited by the Romanian news outlet argue that the land dispute actually involves a stretch of around 300 square kilometers.
The sources also note that Romania intends to start talks with Bulgaria on the recalculation of the Danube border which now runs in the middle of the river.
The need to renegotiate the border line, which would provide Romania with more islands, is explained with the natural erosion of the Bulgarian bank.
On Tuesday evening, Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu brought up the issue of the disputed territory of 17 square kilometers in an interview for a local TV station.
He also mentioned that the situation of the Romanian minority in Bulgaria had to be discussed.
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