SOFIA, Bulgaria, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. envoy for European affairs and Eurasian energy arrived in Bulgaria Tuesday to meet with top officials in Sofia on energy policy, officials said.
The United States has approached Bulgaria on its potential for diversifying the European energy market, most recently in July when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mentioned the urgency of moving away from Russian dependency in the energy market.
The visit by Gray comes as European leaders plan Friday to meet in Luxembourg to discuss a common energy policy. The move could have a major impact on several pipelines in the region, including the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline to Italy and the Nabucco pipeline from Turkey, a proposed project backed by Western nations.
For his part, Parvanov said he was displeased with the lack of a common energy policy for European member states, saying Europe should make Nabucco a common priority.
"Instead of debating whether South Stream is an alternative to Nabucco, we are making definite steps towards establishing Nabucco as a massive European project in its own right, which will be responsible for major energetic supply in the short future," the Bulgarian president said.