SOFIA, June 16 The Bulgarian government can
ensure natural gas supplies for at least three to four months if
a price dispute between Moscow and Kiev leads to supply
disruptions, Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva said on
Bulgaria is one of the European Union countries most exposed
to possible gas supply cuts, as it gets almost all of its gas
from Russia's Gazprom via one route through Ukraine.
"We made a decision to increase the gas stockpile, and we
also have ideas for alternative supplies," Bobeva told
Russia cut off gas to Ukraine on Monday in a dispute over
unpaid bills that could disrupt supplies to the rest of Europe
and set back hopes for peace in the former Soviet republic.
In a separate statement, the Bulgarian energy ministry said
gas inflows from Russia had not been disrupted for the time
being. It said the country had gas stocks that could meet demand
for at least 100 days at about 65 percent of the daily need.
The Balkan country can also reverse an existing gas pipeline
with Greece and receive additional quantities of up to 3 million
cubic meters (mcm) per day from Greece in case of emergency.
The country's daily gas need stand at an average of 3.3 mcm
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Mark Potter)