SOFIA, January 15. /TASS/. US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Bulgaria on Thursday for talks with Bulgarian leaders on Russia’s refusal to build the South Stream gas pipeline and the situation in eastern Ukraine.
This is Kerry’s first visit to Bulgaria on the post of US secretary of state. He will be accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said during the visit, Kerry will meet with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov. The talks will focus on regional security, bilateral cooperation in the field of defence, trade and economic contacts, investments and energy.
Local mass media said referring to diplomatic and government sources that the Ukrainian crisis and the terrorist acts in Paris, prospects for developing shale gas in Bulgaria and the fate of the South Stream pipeline would be touched upon at the talks.
Sofia does not consider Russia’s refusal from the South Stream project final because no official notification has been received yet. Experts believe that American diplomats will do their best to lift the moratorium on extracting shale gas through fracking and to support trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership between the EU and the US.