Bulgaria backs out of Russian pipe

March 13, 2013 at 6:39 AM
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SOFIA, Bulgaria, March 13 (UPI) -- The Bulgarian Parliament said supporting the planned Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline was no longer feasible given the financial aspects of the project.

Bulgaria signed an agreement in 2007 with Russia and Greece to build the 174-mile Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline to bypass crowded waterways near Turkey by crossing an overland route to the Aegean Sea.

Outgoing Finance Minister Simeon Djankov said the project wasn't feasible and therefore couldn't get the financing necessary to move forward, reports the Sofia News Agency. Parliament passed a measure formally ending Sofia's ties to the pipeline.

Djankov said at a late 2011 meeting with government officials that Sofia planned to end its role in the pipeline project because of financial concerns.

Moscow claimed the Bulgarian government owes about $10.3 million related to the project. Bulgarian officials brushed off those threats, however, saying the pressure was intended more as a negotiation tactic than as a statement of intent.

The pipeline was designed to transport as much as 250 million barrels of oil per year.

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