PM Borisov: Putin Will Learn Bulgaria's Position on Belene NPP Monday

Business » ENERGY | March 25, 2012, Sunday // 19:05| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: PM Borisov: Putin Will Learn Bulgaria's Position on Belene NPP Monday Bulgaria began the construction of NPP "Belene" as early as the 80s, but with the collapse of the socialist system the project had been frozen since the beginning of the 90s. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov will have a phone call Monday with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to finalize the fate of long-delayed joint energy project Belene NPP.

This was revealed by Borisov during an interview with Bulgarian TV channel TV7 Sunday. The Bulgarian PM said that he is set to talk with Putin at 10.30 am EET.

"I have a scheduled phone call with Russian President Putin to let him know of our decision about Belene NPP, so that he won't have to learn it from media," said the Bulgarian PM.

Borisov declined to answer the journalist's question about what Borisov's position on the project is going to be - whether Bulgaria will give it up or press forward.

He preferred to refer to what has been his position on the project in the past.

"Regarding the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline I had said - it is not economically efficient, it is environmentally hazardous, so we will terminate it. And we left," recalled Borisov.

"Similarly, regarding Belene NPP I have said - if we do not find a major European or American investor to diversify this project, I shall not continue it," added he.

According to Borisov, former Bulgarian PM Sergey Stanishev and President Georgi Parvanov have intentionally protracting the project.

"Both Parvanov and Stanishev have to admit that they have their responsibility for the fate of this project. They did not finalize its price; they did not make it irreversible," said the Bulgarian PM.

At the same time, Borisov said that the South Stream natural gas pipeline, another joint project with Russia, is highly profitable for Bulgaria and a real way to make natural gas cheaper.

He added that Bulgaria highly values both Russia's and America's interests, but has to put its own national interest first.

"We have strong political and military ties with the West, and we have strong historic and cultural ties with Russia - both parties need to know that," reflected Borisov.

Just this week, Russian company Atomstroyexport expressed exasperation at the protracted desicion making process on Belene in Bulgaria, but offered another contract extension.

Bulgaria has said it will not go ahead with the Belene NPP before a positive economic assesment by project consultant HSBC.

The Belene drama flared fresh during the week, after Boyko Borisov had said he had sent Bulgaria's Finance Minister Simeon Djankov and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov to Moscow early February to make clear Bulgaria gives up the NPP.

Meanwhile, earlier in March Boyko Borisov asked Minister Traikov to resign over as yet uncleared worries with his work. Traikov's resignation was passed in Parliament his week.

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Tags: Moscow, Simeon Djankov, Traicho Traikov, Belene NPP, Vladimir Putin, Boyko Borisov, Burgas-Alexandroupolis, Sergey Stanishev, Georgi Parvanov, Russia, Russian, America, American, European, Atomstroyexport, HSBC, natural gas, South stream
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