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On this day March 3, 1878

The signing of the Treaty of San Stefano, ending the Russo-Turkish War and establish Bulgaria as an autonomous principality in the Ottoman Empire.

It was signed on March 3, 1878 at San Stefano (now Yeşilköy), a village west of Istanbul, by Count Nicholas Pavlovich Ignatiev and Alexander Nelidov on behalf of the Russian Empire and Foreign Minister Safvet Pasha and Ambassador to Germany Sadullah Bey on behalf of the Ottoman Empire.

The treaty also established Bulgaria as an autonomous principality. March 3, the day the Treaty of San Stefano was signed, is celebrated as Liberation Day in Bulgaria.

Irina Bokova is elected Director-General of UNESCO

Irina Bokova of Bulgaria is elected Director-General of UNESCO, the first woman and first Eastern European to fill the role.

Irina Gueorguieva Bokova

Irina Gueorguieva Bokova

She defeated nine candidates at the election in Paris, with Farouk Hosny ultimately being defeated by 31-27 in the fifth and last round of voting. Hosny had been expected to win but attracted criticism from figures such as Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel over his views on antisemitism.

She takes over the position from Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan. She will serve in this office for a four-year period. Bokova is both the first woman and the first Eastern European to take this role.

EC and US to provide financial backing for Nabucco Project

Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey sign an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March, a major natural gas hub in Austria, diversifying the current natural gas suppliers and delivery routes for Europe.

Pipeline Map

Pipeline Map

On 27 January 2009, the Nabucco Summit held in Budapest.

At the summit, the heads of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said, that they are prepared to provide financial backing for the Nabucco gas pipeline.

On 28 January 2009, the European Commission proposed €250 million as a part of its Economic Recovery Plan to be contributed through the EIB towards funding the Nabucco pipeline. Read More…

Natural gas crisis hits Austria and Turkey

With freezing temperatures, combined with snow over the past few days Russia halted the natural gas flow to Ukraine, and therefore to subsequent countries such as Bulgaria, Austria, Turkey, Poland, Romania and Hungary.

The Russian natural gas pipeline is the primary source of natural gas for some countries such as Ukraine, Austria and Turkey.

Ukraine is currently in negotiations with Russia in order to restart the gas flow, however Russia has increased the prices from US$179.50 per 1,000 cubic meters to $250 per 1,000 cubic meters for Ukraine. Read More…