Russian Energy Bosses Visit Sofia
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller discusses gas supply issues with Bulgaria's PM Borissov; Kirienko puts EUR 2 billion on the table for the realization of NPP Belene project
Gazprom's CEO, Alexey Miller had a talk with Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov on the problems Bulgaria and Russia experience in the sphere of gas supply
Russian energy bosses paid a surprising visit to Sofia on Tuesday. Following Sofia's statement that Bulgaria will join the US missile defense shield, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller arrived in Sofia yesterday and PM Boyko Borissov had to change his schedule to meet him. Borissov and Miller discussed a possible increase in the fees that Sofia pays Gazprom for transferring natural gas to neighboring Turkey, Greece and Macedonia, Bulgaria's economy minister Traycho Traykov, who also participated in the meeting, said.
Emerging from his meeting with Miller, Traykov told reporters that Sofia also repeated its demand for the removal of intermediaries in Russian gas supplies to Bulgaria. Presently, Bulgargaz has contracts with three subsidiaries of Gazprom - Overgaz Inc, Wintershall and Gazexport. Miller, who also met Bulgaria's President Parvanov, promised a direct contract between the natural gas companies of the two countries. According to Mr. Traykov, the issues concerning the transit fees, the removal of intermediaries and the realization of the South Stream project are interconnected, but only indirectly.
A direct contract between Bulgargaz and Russia's Gazprom or its subsidiary Gazprom export may be signed at the beginning of 2011, Bulgargaz CEO Dimitar Gogov told the Bulgarian National Radio.
Rosatom CEO Sergey Kirienko is scheduled to visit Sofia on Friday to meet Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borissov. Reportedly, he will offer Sofia's government a 2-billion euro loan for the realization of NPP Belene project. The exact form of the loan and the commitments of Bulgaria if the loan is agreed are not clear for now.
"Bulgaria has poured a lot of money in NPP Belene already and we will seek to receive the largest possible share in the plant, as well as guaranteed protection of our national interests," Traykov said.