Nuclear power: Bulgarian ex-minister charged over nuclear project

19:33 Nov. 17, 2016

Bulgarian ex-minister charged over nuclear project

Demonstrators take part in an anti nuclear protest against building a nuclear plant in Belene in Sofia, March 19, 2011. (AP Photo)

Former economy and energy minister Rumen Ovcharov is accused of mismanagement that led to a 190 million euro loss

The former minister is charged with mismanagement over canceling a nuclear power project with Russian Atomstroyexport. The 10-billion-euro project of building a nuclear power plant Belene on the Danube river was canceled in 2012 after failing to find foreign investors.

Bulgaria was also under pressure from Brussels and Washington. They demanded to limit country's energy dependence on Russia. An arbitration court has ruled Bulgaria needs to pay over 600 million euros in compensation to Atomstroyexport over the failed project. 

Read more ‘Russia-friendly' Radev leading in Presidential election in Bulgaria

Now prosecutors charge Ovcharov, who was the energy minister in 2005-2007, with insufficient control of executive directors of state energy company NEK. They signed the contract before the financing was secured. The successor of Ovcharov, Petar Dimitrov, faces the same charges. Ovcharov denies any wrongdoing and calls the charges politically motivated. 

Read more Ukraine won't build Khmelnytsky nuclear power plant together with Russia

The prosecution is yet to come up with a statement. 

Watch more Hungary dismisses EU attempt to stop Russia nuclear deal

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