The allegations of the president Gheorghi Parvanov that the energy dependency from Russia started before 2001, i.e. when prime minister was the opposition leader Ivan Kostov, are absurd, says Nadezhda Mihaylova. In the government of Kostov (1997-2001) she was a foreign minister and now is leading the candidate list of the Blue coalition for the European elections. Mihaylova refused to comment on further but underlined that everybody knows that such allegations are false.
In 1997 the then deputy prime minister, responsible for the regional development, Evgheni Bakardzhiev started the negotiations with Gazprom. In 1998 the contract is signed by the then president of Gazprom Rem Vyahirev. The contract is for a period of 12 years which should have ended in 2010 if it wasn't upgraded by the current government 2 years ago. It gave Bulgaria the opportunity to transit Russian natural gas to third countries through various barter mechanisms of which Bulgaria received 2.2 bn cubic metres gas annually at a price of 83 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.