Russia and Greece will hold talks to work out a joint position on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project before the end of the year, Russia's Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Monday.
"We have decided to set up a working group, which will discuss a joint position on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project at its first meeting," Shmatko said, adding that Moscow respected the position of Bulgaria, which wanted to assess ecological risks of the project.
In 2007, Russia, Greece and Bulgaria signed a contract on a joint construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline to bypass the busy Black Sea. The project's capacity amounts to 35 million tons per annum with a possible expansion to 50 million tons.
Construction was delayed after Bulgaria formed a new cabinet headed by Boyko Borisov, who has made contradictory statements on energy projects with Russia, including a rejection of plans to participate in the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline.
In July, Bulgaria agreed to pay a 6.5 million euro contribution to operating costs for the project, but its participation is still uncertain.