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Saturday, 01 October 2022

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă attended the official Launch event of Commercial Operations of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria(IGB)

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă’s visit to Sofia to attend the Launch ceremony of Commercial Operations of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria(IGB)

 

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă paid today, October 1, 2022, a visit to Sofia, in the context of his participation in the Launch ceremony of Commercial Operations of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria(IGB).

The event hosted by the Bulgarian President Rumen Radev was marked by a consistently high–level representation of the states in the region, as well as the participation of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

The Launch ceremony of the gas interconnector occasioned an applied exchange of opinions at the level of leaders, in which the evaluations of regional coordination on energy matters, in preparation for the cold season 2022 -2023, have been presented.

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă presented the Romanian Government’s outlook regarding the promotion of security and resilience in the energy field and highlighted the strategic steps taken by Romania in this sector. In this context, he referred to the measures adopted by the Romanian Government in support of securing natural gas stocks to curb and eliminate the negative effects generated by Russia's war against Ukraine. Prime Minister also highlighted Romania's launch of onshore and offshore gas resource exploitation operations in the Black Sea.

The Head of the Romanian Government pointed out the strategic value of strengthening energy security at the regional and European levels, by accelerating the increase in production capacity. At the same time, he emphasized the essential importance of diversifying and securing gas supply and storage sources, to eliminate dependence on Russia, and showed that energy interconnectivity represents the strategic objective that defines the cohesive action of the member states with the regional partners in the Eastern Neighborhood and the Western Balkans.

Prime Minister Ciucă argued that the operationalization of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector represents a successful model of regional cooperation and a strategic source of facilitating gas transit to Central, Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, which will allow connection to new sources of natural gas. At the same time, he showed that the commissioning of the Greece-Bulgaria Corridor opens the horizon to greater competitiveness in the regional gas market.

In this context, Prime Minister stated that long-term strategic investments in gas infrastructure will ensure a smoother transition towards the goal of decarbonization at the horizon of 2050 and pleaded in support of attaching political will to the resources and technologies available for the materialization of strategic energy interconnection projects.

On the sidelines of the launch ceremony of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector, Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă had a series of bilateral meetings with senior dignitaries, respectively with the President of Bulgaria and the Interim Prime Minister of Bulgaria, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic.

The discussions focused on the evaluation of cooperation measures in the energy field and the promotion of joint collaboration projects aimed at increasing energy security.

During the meetings, Prime Minister Ciucă highlighted the importance of ensuring for Romania and its neighbourhood diversified gas transport sources and routes and emphasized the important role that Romania is prepared to play, both through involvement in the BRUA corridor (Bulgaria -Romania-Hungary-Austria), as well as through the Black Sea gas exploitation.

 

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Your Excellency, Mr President Radev,

Your Excellency, Madam President Ursula von der Leyen,

Your Excellency, Mr President Ilham Aliyev,

Your Excellency, Mr President Stevo Pendarovski

Your Excellency, Mr President Aleksandar Vučić,

Your Excellency, Mr Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis,

Your Excellency, Mr Prime Minister Galab Donev,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I wish to start by thanking the host of this event for the initiative and the invitation addressed to meet all here, in Sofia.

The artificial supply shortages, especially of gas, generated by Russia have an impact not only on Europe. They create turmoil in the global energy markets and led to unexpectedly high costs for our partners in different parts of the world.

Any step taken to increase regional and – a broader scale – Europe’s energy security has a stronger connotation today when reliable, affordable and secure energy supply is key for meeting our goals of recovery and resilience. We need to continue engaging with partners to increase their production capacities. We also need to finish our homework in Europe, as regards interconnectivity, so to ensure that we have all the means to diversify and act in solidarity between EU members and with our neighbours in the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the Western Balkans.

The operationalization of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria contributes significantly to the diversification of the natural gas supply. Though this is a moment of celebration for the developers of the project and for all its beneficiaries, we should remain realistic and acknowledge that diversification of supply and routes needs to speed up, as Europe has to get rid at a quicker pace of the dependency on Russian fossil fuels.

The energy crisis felt by the whole of Europe made us even more united in our efforts to find solutions and to ensure the necessary energy both for this winter, as well as for the future, in the logic of sustainability and environment protection.

Moreover, regional cooperation and jointly developed solutions are key to success, as individual action does not offer sufficient answers in times of crisis. The completion of the Vertical Corridor is part of such solutions, as it will facilitate gas transit to Central and Eastern Europe, and to the Western Balkans, by connecting the Southern Corridor and BRUA. This will give access to gas resources from the Caspian Sea, as well as to the LNG terminals in the North of Greece.  

At the same time, all present here are aware that these investments in gas and related infrastructure are for the longer term, as our economy needs natural gas to support the transition to carbon neutrality at the 2050 horizon. The inclusion of gas and nuclear energy as part of the EU’s taxonomy gives us, decision-makers, businesses and investors, the much-needed predictability.

Before concluding, I wish to congratulate all those who – throughout the years -  invested political will, resources and technology in order to allow IGB to grow from inception to reality.  Romania stands ready to play its part as a reliable partner for Europe’s energy security.

Before closing, I would like to thank former Prime Minister Petkov and also Prime Minister Mitsotakis for their commitment to finishing this Interconnector. We met twice in Bucharest and in Sofia and also, in Athens, and we were discussing the relevance of this Interconnector, because, as all of you mentioned, this is giving value not only to the South Corridor, but also gives relevance to the Vertical Corridor and also to the BRUA which was a very important project committed by Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Austria. Thank you very much for what you did, and I am sure that this is going to really contribute to our main goal: to stay united and in solidarity. Thank you very much.

 

 

 



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