Improving infrastructure links in the region, including in the energy sector, is a necessary condition for deepening economic cooperation between countries. This is what Bulgaria’s Minister of Energy Andrey Zhivkov said at the Fifth Energy Forum for Southeast Europe, held in Thessaloniki.
Minister Zhivkov reminded the audience that there are several long-term good consequences of better infrastructure, such as job creation and more sustainable integration of economies. As an example, he quoted the gas infrastructure in Bulgaria which will strengthen the regional interconnection and improve energy security. According to the Minister, among the most important projects in this field, there are the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Alexandroupolis. Through them, the region will have access to various sources and routes for natural gas supply.
“Regional infrastructure projects are key to the realisation of the Vertical Gas Corridor for gas supplies from South to North,” said Minister Zhivkov. “In addition, the [Eastern Mediterranean] EastMed gas pipeline, by connecting the existing gas transmission networks in Greece and Bulgaria, will provide access to gas fields in Cyprus, Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“The integration of the Western Balkans is extremely important from the point of view of ensuring energy security,” he added, recalling that indeed this process was a priority of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU in 2018.