Bulgarian Prime Minister and US Assistant Secretary of State Discuss Energy Cooperation

November 16 (BTA) - Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko
Borissov and US Assistant Secretary of State for International
Security and Nonproliferation Christopher Ford discussed
bilateral cooperation in the field of energy during a meeting in
 Sofia, the Bulgarian government press service reported on
Saturday. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister
 Tomislav Donchev, Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova and US
Ambassador to Bulgaria Herro Mustafa.

The news came a day after the topic of energy, particularly
natural gas, was discussed between Prime Minister Borissov and
US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt in Thessaloniki, and days
 before Borissov's late-November visit to the United States,
where he will be received by President Donald Trump.

During the Sofia meeting, Ford said that energy is of vital
importance for the shared strategic interests and the national
security of the US and Bulgaria.

Borissov underscored his country's potential to diversify energy
 sources and supply routes not just domestically but also for
the region. He said it is strategically important for Bulgaria
to retain its key role on Europe's natural gas map, and laid
particular emphasis on the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria
gas interconnector.

Discussing nuclear energy, the Prime Minister said: "As an EU
member state, Bulgaria strictly adheres to the requirements for
diversification of the supply of fresh nuclear fuel." In this
context, he noted Bulgaria's successful partnership with the
US-based Westinghouse Electric Company over the last 15 years.

The potential implementation of the Belene nuclear power plant
project in Bulgaria was also considered at the meeting with the
Assistant Secretary of State. Borissov said that 13 companies,
including General Electric of the US, have bid to participate in
 the project.

The two sides have agreed that a team of US technical experts
will be sent to Bulgaria shortly to explore opportunities to
enhance bilateral strategic partnership in the field of energy.

Borissov and Ford also discussed Bulgaria-US relations in
civilian nuclear energy, established by the 123 Agreement
between the US and Euratom.

The sides stressed the good cooperation between the two
countries in a number of other areas, such as security, defence,
 counter-terrorism and education. RY/VE


Source: Sofia