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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Carrier to Buy Bulgaria's Balkan

An unnamed Russian airline is participating in negotiations to buy a majority stake in debt-ridden Bulgarian flag carrier Balkan Airlines, a Balkan official said Monday.

Negotiations are at a preliminary stage, said Marian Marinov, a Balkan representative in Russia, who refused to elaborate.

Balkan spokesman Viktor Melamed said Monday that a private Russian airline expressed interest in buying a majority stake, Reuters reported. Melamed was in Moscow last week as part of a business delegation accompanying Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy.

Melamed said a Balkan delegation was expected to come to Moscow soon for talks with the Russian airline.

Balkan, which is $72.88 million in debt, said last week that it could face a financial crisis unless it gets court approval for a rescue plan submitted in December, Reuters reported. Under the plan, the airline would obtain loans from local banks, lease two Boeing jets and focus on profitable destinations.

Balkan operates three weekly flights from Moscow.