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Bulgaria: Pipeline Concession For Russia Revoked

Sofia, 11 March 1996 (RFE/RL) -- A Bulgarian official says that Sofia will not go forward with a concession granting Russia the right to build a gas pipeline through Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Bozhkov told RFE/RL that the decision was taken after a meeting yesterday in Sofia with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Lobov. Bozhkov said Lobov and the chairman of Russia's Gazprom agreed to the change in Sofia's position on the concession, granted in the final days of the rule of the Bulgarian Socialist Party. He said experts from the two countries will start new negotiations on building a pipeline.

The Bulgarian state-run BTA news agency reports that the Russian delegation expressed interest in participating in the privatization of an oil refinery in Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Bourgas and in other ventures.