Russia keeps providing natural gas to Bulgaria

Jan 16, 1997 01:00 AM

Petar Sabev, an executive director of the state-owned Bulgargas, is currently negotiating in Moscow the establishment of a joint venture, which will operate a barter deal of Russian gas supplies for Bulgarian goods. For the last 10 years Russia has supplied Bulgaria with 3.4 bncm per year in return for its participation in construction works at Russia's Yambourg gas field under a 20-year intergovernmental agreement between the two countries. Bulgaria will continue receiving the same quantities of Russian natural gas in the next 10 years but is now supposed to pay for them in cash. But crisis-hit Bulgarian heating plants, hospitals and schools, reliant on subsidies from a near-bankrupt state, owe Bulgargas millions of levs for their natural gas supplies. It now appears that Moscow will deliver by May most of the remaining Russian gas supplies to Sofia under the first 10-year agreement. "The Russian partners have shown understanding and the two sides signed an agreement in Moscow for delivering most of the remaining 1.2 billion cubic metres (bncm) to Bulgaria during the first four months this year but not during the whole year," Nina Mircheva told. "The last 100 million cubic metres will be delivered in May."

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