Vladimir Putin expected that Russian companies, including Gazprom, would not be faced with terms and conditions worse than those of other participants in the tender to privatize Bulgargaz.
In reply to questions of journalists in the wake of negotiations with his Bulgarian counterpart the Russian president stated that yesterday in the course of his telephone conversation with the management of Gazprom the company confirmed its readiness to cooperate with Bulgarian partners.
He reminded those present that the Russian side eliminated superfluous links from the economic and production chain of intermediaries engaged in transit of Russian gas.
He stated that "we would strengthen Russian presence in Bulgaria in accordance with wishes of the Bulgarian side, we would increase the volume of gas transit." In his turn, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov confirmed "equal participation of Russian companies and firms in the forthcoming privatization of Bulgarian facilities." The Bulgarian President reassured that "Bulgaria would grant equal terms and conditions, to RAO UES as well, in the course of the forthcoming privatization of power engineering facilities." The Bulgarian leader stated that Russia was a strategic partner of Bulgaria in the area of power engineering and that cooperation in the field of nuclear energy was vitally important for the country.
Georgi Parvanov also was hopeful that works would be resumed on the Burgas-Aleksandropulos project which would bring economic as well as political dividends.
In reply to that the Russian President pointed out that Russian investments into Bulgaria amounted to USD 500 million. Putin indicated that out of them Lukoil invested 340 million. The head of the Russian state pointed out that Lukoil was prepared to invest more, especially taking into account the fact that the Burgas-Aleksandropulos project was making slow progress. According to him, the Russian side was interested in implementation of that project.
The Russian army is to test a new version of the Tupolev Tu-160M White Swan strategic missile carrier with the upgraded wing geometry