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    Bulgaria backs off dismissal of oil pipeline with Russia, Greece

    Klearchos Kapoutsis
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    Bulgaria has not taken a final decision on rejecting plans to develop the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project with Russia and Greece, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said on Friday.

    Bulgaria has not taken a final decision on rejecting plans to develop the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project with Russia and Greece, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said on Friday.

    "We will take a final decision on the project only once an assessment is ready on the environmental impact of Burgas-Alexandroupolis. At the present time, we see that the project is economically unprofitable and unreasonable. Moreover, we have promised our voters to protect the environment," a statement from Borisov's press office said.

    Russia, Greece and Bulgaria signed a contract in 2007 on the joint construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

    Earlier on Friday, Bulgarian news agency BGNES quoted Borisov as saying Bulgaria would not go ahead with the project, or the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belene.

    The country's energy minister, however, said Sofia had yet to make a decision on halting either project, which both involve Russia.

    "The Cabinet has not yet said that we won't take part in the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project or suspend the construction of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant," BGNES quoted Traicho Traikov as saying.

    Borisov had said Bulgaria would not take part in the oil pipeline project because Burgas region residents were against it and also because the route goes through protected areas.

    He said the construction of the nuclear power plant, which was being carried out by Russia's AtomStroyExport, had been frozen because of a lack of investors.

    "There is no clear indication when Bulgaria will get back the money invested in the Belene nuclear power plant construction. We are ready to sit and discuss the cost of the investment with anyone who is ready to name a figure," Borisov was quoted as saying.

    Russia's state nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly AtomStroyExport won a tender to build and deliver essential equipment for the nuclear power plant in Belene in 2005. In early 2008, AtomStroyExport signed a contract worth around 4 billion euros ($5.8 billion) for the plant's construction.

    MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) 

     

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