The Bulgarian government said it will propose to parliament to cancel an agreement between Bulgaria, Greece and Russia for cooperation in the construction of Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.
In December 2011, Bulgaria proposed that the three partners abandon the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project by mutual consent. Otherwise, the Balkan country said it would back out unilaterally in 12 months.
The government's proposal to Bulgarian MPs follows the expiry of this deadline, the government in Sofia said in a statement. According to an analysis conducted during the development phase of the project, it would not be possible to carry it out under the terms stipulated in the trilateral agreement signed in 2007, thus Bulgaria will take the necessary actions to pull out of the project, the statement added.
News agency Focus quoted Russia's state-owned oil transport company Transneft spokesman Igor Dyomin as saying a decision by Bulgaria's parliament to exit the project would be illegitimate. According to Dyomin, under the terms of the agreement, each of the three countries can pull out of the project only after its implementation is completed and the pipeline is put into operation.
The 258-kilometre pipeline was projected to link the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas with the Greek Aegean port of Alexandroupolis overland. Tankers were planned to discharge the oil at an offshore terminal in Burgas where it can be fed into the pipeline for transportation to Alexandroupolis.