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Bulgarian, Russian PMs discuss Belene NPP

March 26, 2012, 20:38 UTC+3

Russia’s Atomstroyexport said it can stop work at the Belene nuclear power plant construction site in Bulgaria

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SOFIA, March 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation on Monday, March 26, to discuss economic and political relations between the two countries, mainly the Belene nuclear power plant project.

Russia’s Atomstroyexport said it can stop work at the Belene nuclear power plant construction site in Bulgaria and will cut its personnel there even though it remains committed to the project.

“The hesitation of the Bulgarian government with regard to the future of the nuclear power plant makes us stop our activity under the project even though we continue to support it,” the company’s spokeswoman Olga Tsyleva said.

She noted that Atomstroyexport “fulfills all obligations under the project despite the uncertain position of the Bulgarian government” and has to meet the cost of maintaining the construction site and technical personnel on the ground. The company will however cut personnel at the Belene NPP construction site.

Rosatom Head Sergei Kiriyenko said earlier in the day that Russia would fulfil its obligations under the project but the Bulgarian government has to make up its mind about its future as soon as possible.

“Bulgaria should work out a decision, but our position remains unchanged: we won the tender on certain terms and assumed certain obligations as to what the station should be like, on what terms it should be built and at what cost. Moreover, we proposed to make investments in the construction of the nuclear power plant above our contract obligations if it is economically justified. But this depends on the Bulgarian government,” he said.

“We are ready to fulfil our obligations if Bulgaria fulfils its own,” Kiriyenko said, adding that the manufacture of equipment for the plant is practically completed.

He admitted that there are “business disputes” under the project. “Organisations have to be paid for the work done,” he added.

Kiriyenko said there is “no political decision on the part of the Bulgarian government so far. We have not received it yet. If the decision is to finish the construction, we will build it. If the Bulgarian government decided that it does not need the Belene nuclear power plant, it will not become a big problem for us. Last year we doubled our contracts and there are other places where to use our personnel and resources,” Kiriyenko said.

He urged the Bulgarian government to “make the decision, any decision as soon as possible”.

“Frankly speaking we are somewhat tired of the constantly changing position of Bulgarian officials, and we are prepared for any decision,” Kiriyenko said.


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