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Energy Minister: Gas Crisis Harmed Bulgarians’ Love for Russia

Date: 18.06.2009

Bulgaria's Minister of Energy and Economy, Petar Dimitrov, has stated that the January gas crisis has affected the attitude of Bulgarians towards Russia.

"Unfortunately, the gas crisis has harmed our historical feelings towards the Russian people. ... Bulgarians are more unhappy when there is no crisis, whereas in times of hardship, they get mobilized and find a way out of the situation with dignity", Dimitrov stated during the award ceremony for Power Engineer's Day, as quoted by BGNES.

Minister Dimitrov said Bulgaria lost directly about BGN 500 M as a result of the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis which led to the cutoff of Russian gas supplies for Europe - a situation in which Bulgaria was affected the most.

Dimitrov expressed his satisfaction with the Crisis Headquarters set to cope with the crisis, and of the foundation of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, a megastructure uniting all of Bulgaria's major state-owned energy companies.

The Minister said Bulgaria's economy was "in a stable condition", and that the greater utilization of renewable energy sources was extremely necessary. Dimitrov evaluated positively the existing energy efficiency programs but pointed out that Bulgaria was still far behind the average EU level in this respect.

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