Bulgaria says cannot receive Ukrainian natural gas

The western Balkans and Bulgaria, the poorest European Union nation, rely almost entirely on Russian gas for their needs and have no access to alternative pipeline routes.

Bulgaria says cannot receive Ukrainian natural gas
For technical reasons Bulgaria cannot receive Ukrainian natural gas, offered by Kiev to help the Balkan country cope with the cut-off of Russian supplies, Bulgarian officials said on Sunday.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko told his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Parvanov on Saturday that Kiev wanted to deliver up to 2.5 million cubic metres of gas per day from its reserves as Bulgaria was one of the countries hardest hit as a result of the Moscow-Kiev gas price row.

The dispute has cut all Russian gas flows through Ukraine to Europe, affecting 18 countries.

Bulgaria's state gas company Bulgargaz and the economy ministry said on Sunday that there was not enough pressure on the pipeline through which Russia supplies southeast Europe to bring the Ukrainian gas to Bulgaria.

"We'd better wait for the Russian supplies to be restored," Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov said.

The disruption left hundreds of thousands in the Balkans without heating for several days in freezing temperatures and forced dozens of factories across eastern Europe to shut down.

The western Balkans and Bulgaria, the poorest European Union nation, rely almost entirely on Russian gas for their needs and have no access to alternative pipeline routes.

Bulgaria is now meeting about a third of its daily gas needs with 4.2 million cubic metres from its sole storage facility. The storage flow will start declining at the end of next week, the state gas transmission company Bulgartransgaz has said.


Reuters
Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2009, 12:43
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