20 Feb 2010 14:18

Russia, Bulgaria intend to start NPP construction in Belene in spring

MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) - Russia and Bulgaria have agreed to start constructing a nuclear power plant in Belene in spring, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told journalists in summing up outcomes of his recent visit to Sofia.

"We agreed on starting full-scale work on this project in the near future, as early as in spring this year," Shmatko said.

He pointed out that Russia had earlier promised financial support on the project to Bulgaria until it finds a strategic investor. Russia believes this process could take up to two years.

"We agreed to complete all procedures on developing final proposals on how this all should be formalized corporately and start this work by the end of March," he added.

Russia and Bulgaria have "no misunderstandings on this account," Shmatko said. "There is a common understanding as to how we should act," he added.

It was reported earlier that Russia was willing to lend up to 1.9 billion euro to Bulgaria for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belene in 2010-2011. The financing would be provided through a design company to be set up specifically for this purpose.