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Bulgaria negotiates with Russia's Gazprom on new gas transit conditions

Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister Roumen Ovcharov is negotiating with Russian company Gazprom on increased gas transfer through Bulgaria.

The project could bring Bulgaria up to $2 billion annual income, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported. Negotiations should be completed by June 2007. Gazprom director Alexey Miller said that the opportunities for co-operation with Bulgaria were 'impressive'. According to Russian media, Bulgaria was one of the routes along which the Blue Stream gas pipeline could be extended. Currently Gazprom transports through Bulgaria gas for Turkey, Greece and Macedonia, BTA said. Ovcharov said that he was negotiating an entirely new project. It would increase Bulgaria's geo-strategic importance, he said. Ovcharov said that the involvement of his name in a corruption scandal in Bulgaria would have no impact on relations between Bulgaria and Russia in the energy field. Ovcharov is accused of threatening National Investigation Service head Angel Alexandrov (sofiaecho.com)