Russia is reiterating talk of suing Bulgaria over foiling the project to build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, according to Russian Energy Minister, Sergey Shmatko.
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti is citing Shmatko saying Russia is still interested in the project over its economic feasibility, but is prepared to withdraw after receiving compensations.
The statement comes about a week after Moscow warned it will scrap the pipeline and then recanted the announcement.
"We have currently frozen all work on the project because we are waiting on the decision of the Bulgarian cabinet. We will follow all government and corporate agreements signed so far, including the option to withdraw," Shmatko says, adding Russia will ask for compensations under these agreements after receiving Bulgaria's official decision since it is very likely the project will be terminated.
Bulgaria has a March 20, 2011, deadline to pay its EUR 7.5 M shareholder installment to the project company Trans-Balkan Pipeline, but the payment is tied with the results from the environmental assessment.
"I don't care how much and when they pay, but they must make up their mind," the Russian Minister comments, pointing out the project had been advancing just fine before it met the opposition of Bulgarian environmentalists.
Shmatko stresses the Russian strategy includes many alternative projects.