bulgaria decides to drop transbalkan oil pipeline project
Last Updated : GMT 07:27:58
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Bulgaria decides to drop Trans-Balkan oil pipeline project

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Arab Today, arab today Bulgaria decides to drop Trans-Balkan oil pipeline project

Sofia - Arabstoday

The Bulgarian government has decided to give up the Russia-led Trans-Balkan oil pipeline project, Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov said on Wednesday.“Bulgaria has withdrawn from the project, because it cannot be implemented on its terms and using the financial indicators stipulated in the 2007 agreement,” Djankov was quoted by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency as saying.Djankov said Bulgaria’s decision would not entail any sanctions against the country and the project’s supervisory board would hold a meeting next Wednesday where Bulgaria would outline its position.The construction of the Trans-Balkan oil pipeline, designed to link the Black Sea port of Burgas to Alexandroupolis on the Aegean Sea, has long been hampered by the position of Bulgaria, which has threatened to abandon the project over environmental risks. Around half of the pipeline was planned to run through Bulgarian territory.Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has repeatedly complained that Bulgaria was failing to finance its part of the project. Media has said the project was likely to be suspended while Transneft only said it would minimize its spending on the pipeline.The 300-kilometer pipeline is designed to transport 35 million tons of oil a year, with a possible expansion to 50 million tons, to ease the tanker traffic burden in the Bosporus and the Dardanelles straits. Russia owns 51 percent in the project, Bulgaria and Greece equally share 49 percent.Transneft said it had not yet received any official notice on Bulgaria’s withdrawal form the project.In late November, Ilya Kazenkin, head of the Transneft department for foreign economic operations, said Bulgaria continued to accrue its debts on the oil pipeline construction project, which amounted to 6.2 million euros.

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