President Rumen Radev said that from a country through which only Russian gas passed, Bulgaria has become the center of energy policy in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Radev is in Delphi, where he is participating in the eighth Delphi Economic Forum together with cabinet ministers. The forum, which brings together over 990 politicians, diplomats and experts, discusses the geopolitical turmoil, the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the energy and economic security of Europe.
In a special interview for the National Television, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti stated that the agreement between Pristina and Belgrade, reached in March, must be implemented quickly and without preconditions from Belgrade.
Bulgaria is the country that forms and is at the center of energy policy in the region. And this was achieved in just seven months. This was announced by President Rumen Radev at the Delphi Economic Forum in front of over 990 politicians, diplomats and experts.
The head of state stated that the idea of being a gas hub has already been practically realized and that we have the capacity to transfer natural gas and energy resources from multiple sources.
Bulgaria is no longer passive, but a partner that realizes its own interest and that of its partners in the best possible way, he pointed out.
In just seven months, Bulgaria has turned its attitude towards itself: from a passive territory to an active country, determining the energy policy in the region, said Rumen Radev.
“Do you remember the state Bulgaria and the Bulgarian energy industry was in until August of last year. No supplies, no gas, no contracts, no auctions, no slots, no terminals, no interconnector and with fuel and gas prices in the sky”.
The President recalled the organized transparent gas tenders, the use of liquefied gas terminals in Greece and Turkey, the “Solidarity Ring” initiative for the transfer of Azeri gas to the EU.
“We finished the interconnector with Greece and started the one with Serbia, we will finish it in October this year. Lukoil is finally registered in Bulgaria and pays its taxes here. We currently have the lowest fuel prices in Europe. We are continuing with Greece. In February we signed an agreement to explore the Alexandroupolis-Burgas oil pipeline”.
Bulgaria is currently making the best use of its geographical position, Radev added.
“From a territory through which Russian gas simply passed, Bulgaria has become the center of energy policy in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe. It has become a valuable, respected, sought-after partner in the field of energy.”
Radev pointed out that we have changed the attitude of the partners who are looking for us. Both from the north and from the south.
“You remember how years ago, from morning to night, I enlightened us with the dream of a gas hub in Bulgaria, but this gas hub is only being realized at the moment, because you cannot make a truly functional gas hub when you have only one source of gas. At the moment Bulgaria also receives gas from Azerbaijan, and we have access to 6 terminals in the Mediterranean Sea, and to the gas transmission systems of both Greece and Turkey, that is, we are only now implementing this concept, but with a completely different, much higher and effective level.” .
Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov pointed out that Bulgaria actively participates in the EU’s efforts to ensure its energy independence.
“In recent months, key steps have been taken in just that – the completion of the interconnector, the steps after that, as well as the signing of the Solidarity Ring agreement literally just a few days ago, puts us literally at the center as an entry point in Europe for all these energy topics”.
Regarding the European integration of the Western Balkans, which the leaders are also discussing, Radev pointed out that the Republic of North Macedonia should include the Bulgarians in its Constitution, a commitment it has made.
“There is a very clear decision of the EU, reflected in the negotiating framework for Macedonia, which it has adopted, this is a requirement of the EU, not just a Bulgarian requirement”.
In a special interview for the National Television, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, indicated that the agreement reached in March between Kosovo and Serbia must be implemented quickly and in its entirety.
“The agreement we reached with Serbia in Brussels is a de facto recognition of the Republic of Kosovo as an independent state. Something we should be very worried about is the ‘Bosnia’ of Kosovo, namely the attempt to create a Republika Srpska that will undermine our statehood. And unfortunately, this is what official Belgrade is trying to do.”
The Kosovo Prime Minister did not directly answer when the Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo will be established.