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Transneft pins hope on Bulgarian pipeline

      RBC, 06.04.2012, Moscow 11:55:38.Russia's national pipeline operator Transneft is hopeful that the construction of an oil pipeline linking Burgas to Alexandroupolis will get off the ground despite the fact that Bulgaria has withdrawn from the project, the company's Vice-President Mikhail Barkov said in a statement.

      "We won't give them such an opportunity. Bulgaria can't be reduced to Boyko Borisov (Bulgaria's prime minister). The project is on hold for now, but we hope that it will be resumed," Barkov pointed out, adding that it would have taken Transneft only five months to erect this pipeline, but due to an inordinate amount of red tape the project got saddled with a five-year backlog.

      Earlier, Transneft's official representative Igor Demin had said that the company had yet to receive a transfer from Bulgaria in payment of the country's debt for pipeline construction, although Bulgarian authorities claimed that the funds were transferred in early February 2012. Bulgaria informed Russian authorities of its intention to abandon the project on December 15, 2011.

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