site.btaUPDATED President Radev: Bulgarian-Turkish Agreement Opens New Prospects for Cooperation
President Rumen Radev discussed the agreement signed between Bulgaria's Bulgargaz and Turkiye's Botas with the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez here on Tuesday. Radev called the signing a historic occasion for both countries, as for the first time another country is granted access to Turkish LNG terminals and gas transmission network. He added that the agreement opens new, previously unthinkable prospects for cooperation.
The meeting between the Bulgarian head of State and the Turkish Energy Minister is a follow-up of the agreements on the development of bilateral relations in the energy sector, reached at the meeting between Bulgarian President Radev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 9, 2022.
Earlier Tuesday, the Bulgarian state-owned gas company Bulgargaz and Turkish state-owned energy company Botas signed an agreement that grants Bulgaria access to the Turkish LNG terminals and gas network for 13 years.
President Radev reiterated his belief that Bulgaria and Turkiye's share a common responsibility to achieve security and diversification of energy supplies both for each other and for their European partners by virtue of the two countries' geographic locations and energy capabilities. According to the President, this agreement is a step in this direction and an indication of the goodneighbourly relations between Bulgaria and Turkiye.
Radev pointed out that both Bulgaria and Turkiye have great ambitions for their development in the energy sector. "And the effect for us, for Europe and for the region will be much greater if we continue to join efforts to implement new systems, new technologies - renewable energy, green hydrogen production, green energy and its transmission to Europe, together," the President said.
Minister Donmez expressed his wish to have 2023 be a year of deeper cooperation between the two countries. He pointed out that the year has started very well, as evidenced by the agreement signed between Bulgargaz and Botas.
Speaking about the meeting between Radev and Erdogan in December, Donmez said: "Less than a month after the meeting […], we can already say today that we are reaping the fruits of this cooperation. Nowadays, in conditions of global crises, it is impossible for countries to overcome these difficulties on their own - cooperation is needed. I hope that this cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkiye will be an example to the countries of the region."
Donmez pointed out that, given its geographical position and infrastructure, his country would cooperate with supplies from the Caspian Sea region, the Middle East, and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Minister noted the need for new projects to make these supplies greater and more efficient.
Radev discussed the Solidarity Ring (STRING) project, a Bulgarian initiative proposed to the European Commission on October 1, 2022. This project will allow the immediate transmission of additional quantities of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe with minimal costs. According to Radev, Turkiye has a key role in the implementation of this project.