The Bulgarian and Greek ministers in charge of energy are meeting in Thessaloniki Wednesday in order to coordinate the project for connecting the natural gas pipeline networks of the two countries.
The Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Traicho Traikov together with his deputy in charge of energy Mariy Kosev are meeting with Greece's Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Tina Birbili, the press service of the Economy Ministry announced.
The major goal of the Traikov-Birbili meeting is to coordinate the construction of the gas transit pipeline inter-connection between natural gas networks of Bulgaria and Greece.
In December 2009, the European Commission pledged funding for this project amounting to EUR 45 M (as well as another EUR 9 M for a similar project linking Bulgaria and Romania).
The importance of the gas pipeline connection with Greece was exposed in the winter of 2009 amidst the Russia-Ukraine gas conflict, which exposed Bulgaria's vulnerable situation as its only natural gas pipeline connection is to Russia from which it gets over 90% of its gas.
The Bulgarian Economy Ministry reminds that Greece is the third largest foreign investor in Bulgaria after Austria and the Netherlands with EUR 3.4 B of FDI in 1996-2009, or a total of 9% of all foreign investments in Bulgaria in the above-mentioned period.