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Russia demands swift payment for cancelled Bulgarian nuclear plant

The logo of Russian state nuclear monopoly Rosatom is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition 2014, the trade fair event for the global nuclear energy sector, in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

SOFIA (Reuters) - Russian nuclear company Rosatom has asked Bulgaria to swiftly pay 620 million euros (524.30 million pounds) in compensation over the cancelled Belene nuclear project, it said on Saturday.

An arbitration court ruled in June that Sofia must pay for the equipment produced by Rosatom for the project, which Bulgaria abandoned in 2012 due to financial constraints and concerns in Brussels and Washington over its energy dependence on Russia.

“The Russian party insists that the decision of the arbitration court be implemented soonest,” Rosatom said in a statement following a meeting with Bulgarian energy officials over the issue in Sofia on Friday.

“The Russian party expects the Bulgarian party to send information about the terms of debt repayment,” it said.

Bulgaria’s prime minister has said that the compensation, estimated by Sofia at about 560 million euros, will be paid in full and quickly, to avoid paying interest of 167,000 euros a day.

Bulgaria is considering selling the 2,000 megawatt nuclear project to private investors, keeping a small state stake in it, after its attempt to sell the equipment to Iran did not succeed.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Alexander Smith