Bulgaria Challenges Russia on Energy Issues
“The dispute between Russia and Bulgaria began after Bulgaria scrapped plans for the Belene nuclear power plant, which was to be built with Russia’s help.
In response to the plant’s cancellation, Russian nuclear power company Atomstroyexport filed a claim of more than $1.3 billion against Sofia. The claim was prohibitive for Bulgaria, which has a yearly budget of less than $20 billion.
In September, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would visit Sofia on 9 November to finalise the agreement over the South Stream pipeline.
During the visit, Borissov said, Putin would have to answer for Atomstroyexport’s claim. Shortly thereafter, the Kremlin denied that a visit to Sofia was on Putin’s agenda, leading Borissov to threaten on 12 October that he would cease negotiations on the South Stream pipeline if Putin failed to visit.
The South Stream pipeline is instrumental in the Kremlin’s plans to ensure steady natural gas deliveries to its Central and Southern European customers. Russia intends to use South Stream to bypass troubled Ukraine, currently the foremost transit state for Russian natural gas exports to Europe.
By posting your comment, you agree to abide by our Posting rules