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Russia considers directing the second pipe of Turk Stream to Bulgaria

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Russia considers directing the second pipe of Turk Stream to Bulgaria and the supplying natural gas to the Balkan hub near Burgas. The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said that during the talks with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin informed him that he had a telephone conversation yesterday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who informed him that he did not mind “Turk Stream” entering the territory of Bulgaria. Borisov specified that negotiations on gas quantity and how to be transported to the next countries in the region are to be negotiated.

Turk Stream connects Russian with Turkey on the bottom of the Black Sea and has two pipes – one for deliverying gas to Turkey and another one to European customers. The question what will be the route of the second pipe is still open with option to be directed to Greece or Bulgaria.

On the basis of this quantity of Russian gas, which is currently entering the territory of Russia via Ukraine to Bulgaria, adding the gas from the Turk Stream, total quantity will be about 34-35 billion cubic meters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the first Turk Stream pipeline is totally ready at the bottom of the Black Sea, and the second remains to be built around 200 km in Turkey. He also confirmed the possibility of “Turk Stream” entering the territory of Bulgaria.

“Therefore, everything we have discussed is completely real and can happen in the near future”, said Vladimir Putin. He added, however, that negotiations are yet to be held – on volume, prices and other issues on this topic. Vladimir Putin noted that Russia is a reliable supplier of energy resources for Bulgaria, and currently 100% meet the needs of the Bulgarian market.

Vladimir Putin added that the Russian company Rosatom will continue delivering nuclear fuel to Kozloduy NPP, will also help to modernize the plant and extend the operation of units 5 and 6. In addition, the Russian side is ready to return to the idea of implementing the Belene NPP project, if Bulgaria decides to do so.

On the occasion of the possible construction of the Belene NPP, the Bulgarian Prime Minister said that since the reactors are already paid and our country has two units, Bulgaria is seeking a private investor on a market principle and will participate in the construction of the plant only with this, which has so far invested for reactors and a construction plant. Bulgaria, however, will not be committed to the compulsory purchase of electricity to be produced at the plant.

The Russian president stressed that the negotiations with Borissov had gone into a business and constructive atmosphere and were quite constructive. In his words, Bulgaria is an important partner in Europe and the Balkans, and relations between the two countries are based on the centuries-old traditions of friendship and good neighborliness. He pointed out that this year marked the date of the 140th anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.

“During the talks, particular attention was paid to economic cooperation”, said Vladimir Putin, pointing out that last year bilateral trade rose by 24% to 3.5 billion USD. In addition, the total volume of Russian investments has exceeded 30 billion USD, with Russian companies actively investing in the processing of oil, agriculture and real estate.

During the meeting with Prime Minister Borissov the strengthening of international relations was noted. This autumn in Sofia is planned to hold Days of Moscow. In addition, in May in Bolshoy Theater in Moscow, the tours of the Sofia Opera and Ballet were held for the first time. All this contributes to the development of relations in the sphere of culture.

Putin also added close links in the field of education, with more than 200 state scholarships being allocated to Bulgarian students this year, and this amount is planned to increase. Russia intends to promote the development of tourism relations as well.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister informed that many of the cultural events between the two countries have been resumed. He added that Bulgaria works well with Russia’s special services on money laundering, counter-terrorism, trafficking in human beings and other issues.

“We have a great perspective because what we offer in the gas and everything else is approved by the European Commission”, said Boyko Borissov. He hopes that good relations will continue to develop. In his words, the key word is peace, dialogue and compromise. Finally at the press conference, Borisov wished Russia to succeed in the upcoming World Cup.