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Bulgaria to actively participate in European energy diplomacy

Photo: BGNES
A conference on “Energy diplomacy and integrated European policy on energy and climate change” organized by the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Dutch Institute of International Relations "Clingendael" marked the beginning of a training program on energy diplomacy. The expectations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are for the two institutes, in cooperation with several universities and think tanks, to work out a program, which would guarantee the high professionalism of Bulgarian experts in energy diplomacy.

"Energy security and the fight against climate change have already acquired a global character. For this reason, EU has taken up the role of a global leader", said Foreign Minister Rumyana Zheleva at the forum. All this requires from the emerging Bulgarian energy diplomacy to work with all-encompassing information resources. Rumyana Zheleva pointed out that Bulgaria had to put a lot of efforts into setting up a unit of experts to analyze information and energy projects in the region. She also emphasized the fact that the exchange of innovation energy technologies with the U.S. had increased considerably. The new energy players such as China, India, Brazil and Australia however remain outside the scope of the Bulgarian energy diplomacy program. According to it, much attention has to be paid to specificities of the Russian energy policies as well as Russia’s role in European and global energy security.

"As imminent I could describe the need for developing consultation and cooperation mechanisms in the energy field among Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Serbia and the other countries in the region,” says minister Zheleva. “Such cooperation mechanisms could eventually lead to avoiding similar efforts and unproductive competitiveness."

In relation to payment of gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine and the looming risk of another gas dispute, minister Zheleva said the following to Radio Bulgaria:

"We always have to expect more problems because we are 100% dependent on gas supplies. This became absolutely clear during the last gas crisis. We always need to be very careful. My forecast is for a warm winter but we should never forget last cold winter in which many households suffered. The main point is to act quickly. We are currently working on all alternative energy sources for Bulgaria," said Foreign Minister Zheleva in conclusion.

English version: Delian Zahariev

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