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Russian lawmaker regrets trans-Balkan oil pipeline deal not implemented

July 04, 2016, 17:39 UTC+3 THESSALONIKI (Greece)

The 285 km pipeline was designed to ensure Russian crude oil deliveries from the Bulgarian city of Burgas to Greece

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The speaker of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin

The speaker of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin

© Alexander Shalgin/Russian State Duma Press Office/TASS

THESSALONIKI (Greece), July 4. /TASS/. The speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, said on Monday he regretted that the trilateral project to build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline had not been implemented.

"As the talk [at the roundtable discussion] is about Alexandroupolis, the only thing left is to express regret that this global project of the three countries - Greece, Bulgaria and Russia - to lay an oil pipeline from Burgas to Alexandroupolis has not been implemented," Naryshkin said.

The State Duma speaker spoke at a roundtable discussion in Thessaloniki on the historical and cultural aspects of Russian-Greek relations.

"Unfortunately, the European Union has made a decision contrary to the interests of the EU member states. But this matter weighs on their conscience," the Russian diplomat said.

The agreement on the construction of the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline was signed between Russia, Greece and Bulgaria on March 15, 2007.

The pipeline was expected to run from the Bulgarian city of Burgas on the Black Sea coast to the Greek city of Alexandroupolis on the coast of the Aegean Sea.

The pipeline was designed to ensure Russian crude oil deliveries to the port of Alexandroupolis across Bulgaria, bypassing the Turkish Straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

The 285 km pipeline was expected to pump 35 million tons of oil annually with the subsequent expansion of its capacity to 50 million tons.

In December 2011, the Bulgarian government announced about its decision to exit the project. The Bulgarian parliament made a decision by a majority of votes to terminate an inter-governmental project on the oil pipeline construction.

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