Bulgaria puts Belene nuke project onhold by Jun

Bulgaria puts Belene nuke project onhold by Jun

Bulgaria will come up with a decision on the price of the Belene nuclear project in two months following six-day negotiations between Bulgarian power utility NEK and Russia's Atomstroyexport on the matter, which were expected by prime minister Boiko Borissov and economy minister Traicho Traikov to end up in freezing the plant's construction.

Shortly after NEK reported on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding for the Belene plants' construction and the 12th annex to the main contract, which put on hold all construction activities at the site by June 30, economy minister Traicho Traikov told journalists he had sacked the company's executive director Krassimir Parvanov because of his decision.

According to Traikov, Parvanov had exceeded his powers in the negotiations with the Russian company by binding Bulgaria to sign a final deal on Belene within two months.

"The 12th annex obliges our country to sign a final contract with binding clauses within two months, which is not in Mr Parvanov's mandate for negotiations and clearly shows to me that in Bulgaria Russian pressure is sometimes stronger than the ability of some people who have pledged to defend the national interest to oppose it," Traikov said.

In addition, the annex obliges the parties to sign a final agreement by June 1 on the plant's construction, which however lacks clear safety criteria and possible costs they could require, according to the Minister.

The agreement also binds Bulgaria and Russia to negotiate the project price by June, a document which Parvanov was forbidden to sign, Traikov added.

According to NEK, however, the deal stipulated no clause obliging Bulgaria to sign an agreement for Belene by June 1.

Parvanov could not be reached for comment until Dnevnik went to print./Source: Dnevnik/

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