Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov says Sofia is considering potential suppliers and carrying out a feasibility study in order to make a specific proposal “within 12 months” to supply Greece with energy from a nuclear power plant that will be built in the neighboring Balkan country.
In an interview with Kathimerini, the Bulgarian premier said the aim is “to strengthen the energy interconnection of our countries, through the IGB pipeline, as well as in liquefied natural gas reserves in Alexandroupoli,” in northern Greece. “These are two options we are interested in moving on as fast as possible, so that we have alternatives,” he said, noting that due to developments in Ukraine, “we need greater diversification of energy sources.”
Petkov also condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “unreasonable actions” and bemoaned the hundreds being killed “on the altar of the imperial desires of an authoritarian leader.” Bulgaria, he said, has close ties to the people and the culture of Russia, “but we separate this from the current authoritarian regime in Russia.”
He also rejected Moscow’s call for NATO to withdraw from Bulgaria and Romania. “I do not like the idea of anyone telling us what we should and should not do. We are an independent state and we make our own choices,” he said.
Petkov also explained why Sofia wants to be excluded from a European Union decision for an embargo on Russian gas imports. “Many European countries are taking tough measures against Russia, and even countries like Germany or Austria cannot completely rule out Russian gas, on which they are highly dependent. We are more than 80% dependent on Russian energy. In essence, we would be shutting down our economy,” he said.