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Bulgaria to Push for Lower Gas Prices during Gazprom CEO Visit
Date: 15/10/2010
Bulgaria to Push for Lower Gas Prices during Gazprom CEO Visit

Bulgaria's government will make a new attempt to cut gas prices and sign a direct gas supply contract with Russian energy giant Gazprom during the one-day visit to Sofia of its chief executive officer Alexei Miller.

Miller will hold talks with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Minister of Economy and Energy Traicho Traikov.

Minister Traikov negotiated a gas price reduction during his talks with Russian officials in July and forecast that prices for industry and households will be "a few percent lower", but this did not happen to be the case.

Gazprom CEO will also discuss delivery of Russian natural gas and the signing of a contract, which will imply no intermediaries in the deal. According to energy experts Bulgaria will back its demands by pointing out the newly discovered local deposits of gas near Kavarna and the agreements for construction of gas network connections with Turkey and Greece.

The future of the South Stream gas pipeline project will also be on the agenda.

In July Russia and Bulgaria signed a roadmap agreement on Saturday to speed up the building of the gas pipeline on the Bulgarian territory.

Bulgaria however has had an uncertain stance on South Stream, which has led to an activizing on the part of the Russian side. Just Monday Russian press characterized Buglaria as the "problematic" country for South Stream.

Jut a day before Miller's visit to Sofia the Russian energy giant practically renewed its threats to replace Bulgaria with Romania as the primary transit hub of the South Stream gas pipeline.

Bulgaria has been committed to the execution of the EU-sponsored Nabucco gas pipeline project, which is widely seen as rival to South Stream, designed to bypass Ukraine in transporting Russian gas to Europe.

Imports account for nearly 70% of the energy Bulgaria uses and Gazprom provides almost all of its gas.


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