Bulgaria is suing Atomstroyexport over delayed payments for equipment the Russian nuclear firm agreed to buy under a deal to build the 2 GW Belene nuclear power plant, says Bulgaria’s economy and energy minister.

Bulgarian state utility NEK and Atomstroyexport agreed in 2006 to build two 1 GW reactors but price disputes and safety fears have put the project on hold.

The legal action follows Atomstroyexport’s refusal to withdraw a €58m ($77m) claim against NEK filed in July over delayed payments. NEK claims Atomstroyexport owes it more than €60m for old equipment at the Belene site.

“On Friday, NEK filed its claim with the Geneva-based arbitration court,” Energy Minister Traicho Traikov told state TV channel BNT in an interview, reported Reuters.

Last week, Bulgaria put off a decision on whether to build the Belene plant until the end of March, when it hopes to have a clearer idea on costs, economic viability and safety. While Atomstroyexport puts construction costs at €6.3bn, Bulgaria aims for no more than €5bn.

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