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Economy Minister: Bulgarian Nature Costs More than USD 35 M

Date: 11.09.2009

Bulgaria's Economy Minister Traikov said there were also sorts of questions hanging in the air regarding the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline

Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Traicho Traikov, said Wednesday there were a whole number of unclear issues regarding the Russian-sponsored Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

"The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline is not at such an advanced stage as the public opinion has been made to believe. Its profitability is unclear, all options for technological decisions are open. One of its most crucial aspects is how dangerous this project is for the environment. Our nature costs more than USD 35 M," Traikov declared.

He added, though, that if Bulgaria had some way of receiving the USD 35 M - which is the annual oil transit fee it is supposed to receive from Russia - the government would of course take advantage of that opportunity.

Minister Traikov also said that all options were open for the fate of the Bulgarian Energy Holding - the giant structure created in 2008 by the previous, Socialist-led government. Prime Minister Borisov recently said his cabinet was going to shut down the BEH because it was of no use. On Wednesday, Traikov commented that the BEH could not be closed down so quickly because it was a party on certain contracts.

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