SOFIA, Bulgaria, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The Bulgarian government may be balking on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline because of diplomatic pressure, a Russian bank executive said.
Bulgaria in 2007 signed an agreement with Russia and Greece to build the 174-mile Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline to bypass crowded waterways near Turkey by using an overland route to the Aegean Sea
Sofia said last year that the terms of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis contract wouldn't deliver an economic benefit to the country, however.
In a sign of further disinterest, Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov didn't attend meetings last week to discuss the pipeline, the online news magazine New Europe reports.
A Bulgarian official who spoke to New Europe on condition of anonymity said Sofia rejected the project in part because of environmental concerns.
"(We have) certain reservations, but again we have never said there is a final decision to let it go," the official said.
Chris Weafer, a top strategist at Moscow's Uralsib bank, said Sofia may be balking on the project because it wants to move closer to the European Union.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov last year said he may reconsider Sofia's role in the Russian energy sector because of what New Europe said was pressure from Washington.