ECONOMY

Will pipeline project take off this time?

The proposed oil pipeline from the Bulgarian port of Burgas on the Black Sea to Greece’s Alexandroupolis on the northern Aegean coast, which has been the subject of protracted negotiations for about 10 years, is winning points with the Russian side, Rumen Ovcarov, Bulgaria’s economy and energy minister said. «Moscow now takes the view that the project must be implemented,» he was quoted by the daily Dnevnik to have told a parliamentary committee. Ovcarov said the Russian oil company Sibneft recently indicated it will guarantee the quantities of oil to be carried through the pipeline. During his visit to Moscow, he added, he set a number of conditions for the project which the Russians did not reject. These include that only Bulgarian companies build the pipeline inside the country and participate in the transportation of the oil from Russia to Burgas. Separately, Bulgaria said yesterday it will receive 25 million euros in aid from the European Union preaccession fund PHARE for cross-border cooperation with Greece and Turkey. The money will go toward road construction, environment protection and improvement of trade and economic cooperation, the Bulgarian government said in a statement. Twenty million euros will go toward funding joint projects with Greece and the rest will be for projects with Turkey. Part of the aid should back the modernization of a 90-kilometer road stretch between Dupnitsa and the Kulata border crossing with Greece. (Kathimerini, SeeNews)