Visiting Belgrade, Bulgarian PM promotes idea of regional single gas market

There is great potential to create a single gas trade market involving Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia and Greece, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said during a visit to Belgrade on February 8.

“We need to bring together the volumes of gas consumption in the whole region so that we can negotiate together for lower prices,” Petkov told a joint news conference with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabić.

“Our gas connectivity will be a huge priority. The Greek connection is very important for Bulgaria, and through the connection with Serbia you will have the opportunity to receive liquefied gas and Azerbaijani gas,” he said.

On February 1, construction began of a gas interconnector between Serbia and Bulgaria, on the part of the route through Serbia from Nis to the border near Dimitrovgrad.

Brnabić, who attended a ceremony to mark the start of the construction, said at the time that the gas pipeline would be ready for operation by October 2023.

Petkov told the news conference that Serbia’s European integration was a huge priority for Bulgaria.

Serbia had in Bulgaria a supportive partner who would be very constructive and helpful in opening new EU membership negotiating chapters with Serbia, he said.

Brnabić thanked Petkov for making the visit, saying that he was the first Bulgarian head of government to do so since 2013.

“Your visit here and the one to North Macedonia show that you want to focus on the Western Balkans. You have shown great commitment to solving our problems,” she said.

“We are organising a specialized business forum between Serbia and Bulgaria in September. It will be either in Pirot or in Dimitrovgrad with the participation of delegations from both sides,” Brnabić said.

She said that in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bulgaria and Serbia had a record level of trade with each other.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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