Bulgarian socialists slam Cabinet over Russian pipeline plans

Bulgaria’s two left-wing parliamentary parties criticised the Cabinet on April 8 over the absence of any Bulgarian officials at a meeting in Budapest to discuss Russia’s plans to build a new gas pipeline to Europe.

In separate statements, Bulgarian Socialist Party deputy leader Yanaki Stoilov and ABC leader Georgi Purvanov said that Bulgaria was at risk of being left out of the discussions to reshape the energy sector in south-eastern Europe.

Speaking in Parliament, Stoilov said that Prime Minister Boiko Borissov should explain Bulgaria’s absence from the Budapest meeting of the foreign ministers of Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey, as well as to give details on the progress of the Cabinet’s plans to build a gas hub in the country. Stoilov’s proposal to invite Borissov to Parliament to speak on these issues was not voted by MPs.

Separately, Purvanov said at a news conference that Sofia was facing isolation in the energy sector and called for an emergency meeting of the presidency’s consultative council on national security to discuss how Bulgaria could play a more important role in the region.

At their meeting in Budapest, the foreign ministers of the five countries signed a declaration in support of Russia’s planned Turkish Stream pipeline, which is meant to replace the South Stream pipeline in bypassing Ukraine as a transit for Russian gas exports to Europe.

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(Photo: jarpur/sxc.hu)