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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bulgaria Warns on Balkan Pipeline

SOFIA — Bulgaria will walk out of a Russian-backed trans-Balkan oil pipeline project if Moscow fails to provide guarantees that the link would not damage Black Sea beaches, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Tuesday.

In 2007, Bulgaria agreed with Russia and Greece to build the pipeline due to carry Russian crude oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis to bypass the traffic-clogged Bosphorus Straits. But the new center-right cabinet has put on review Bulgaria’s commitments to Russian-backed energy projects to see whether they matched national interests and were environmentally friendly and economically viable.

The residents of Burgas and nearby Black Sea resort towns have held a series of protests opposing the project, which they fear may cause serious environmental damage and scare away tourists, their main livelihood.