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The Presidents of Romania and Bulgaria Klaus Iohannis and Rumen Radev discussed on Tuesday the diversification of energy sources and transport routes amid efforts to reduce energy reliance on the Russian Federation.

"With the mounting need to reduce energy reliance on the Russian Federation, we discussed the diversification of energy sources and transport routes. We also emphasized the importance of the speedy commissioning of the Bulgaria-Greece interconnector. Once completed, this can be connected to the already operational BRUA pipeline for the key important Vertical Gas Corridor to become operational," President Iohannis told a joint press conference delivered with his Bulgarian counterpart at the Cotroceni Palace.

Klaus Iohannis brought to mind that he had also discussed the matter with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and there are promises for the interconnector to be switched on by the end of this year.

"And then we can benefit via Bulgaria from liquefied natural gas that will be unloaded off the Greek port [of Alexandroupolis]. On the other hand, work is underway on other alternative gas supply routes and we are in advanced negotiations with several sources. It is obvious that by the beginning of the winter of 2022 - 2023 we must have viable gas supply alternatives in place," Iohannis added.

President Radev noted that the Bulgaria-Greece interconnector is several years behind, but stressed that effort is put in to recover the delay. According to the Bulgarian President, the company in charge of the project has promised that works will be completed in July.

The initial transmission capacity is 3 billion cubic meters per year, this is in fact the annual consumption of Bulgaria, and it can be increased to 5 billion, and as far as I know Romania's gas output is of over 11 billion cubic meters per year, said the Bulgarian President. AGERPRES (RO - author: Florentina Peia, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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