Russia to Insist on Building Bulgaria's Killed Belene NPP

Business » ENERGY | March 29, 2012, Thursday // 18:07
Bulgaria: Russia to Insist on Building Bulgaria's Killed Belene NPP Russian Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko delivers a press conference in Berlin, Germany, 25 February 2011. EPA/BGNES

Russia is set to insist that the Bulgarian state honor the contract for the construction of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant, according to the Russian energy minister, even though Bulgaria's Borisov Cabinet killed the project.

Bulgaria and Russia will hold talks on the Belene NPP in Moscow on Friday during the visit of Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Delyan Dobrev, the Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told ITAR-TASS Thursday afternoon.

Shatko did not comment on whether Russia will sue Bulgaria over the termination of the Belene project. The 2000 MW plant was supposed to be built by Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

On Wednesday Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, after years of delaying a decision on the fate of the controversial nuclear project, announced that the government had decided not to go for it because it was unfeasible and too expensive.

Speaking on Friday, Shmatko noted that the comments will be made after Friday's meeting with Dobrev.

"We have an understandable legal foundation of our relations with the Bulgarian side, we have the respective rights and structures for the construction of the Belene NPP, we have been working on this project for a long time, we have been ordered and are making the equipment for this plant," Shamtko stated.

"Naturally, we will formulate all of our decisions and suggestions based on the strict adherence to these norms, rules, and commitments according to the existing documents," he added.

Thus, the Russian press has widely interpreted Shamtko's words as insistence that the Belene NPP be built.

On Thursday, the Bulgarian government formally notified Russia about asking it for talks on the "possible" renunciation of the Belene contract, Interfax reported, citing the Russian Deputy PM Igor Sechin.

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Tags: Belene, Belene NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Russia, Sergei Shmatko, Delyan Dobrev, Moscow, Atomstroyexport, Rosatom

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