Bulgarian PM: Bulgaria may want an Exception to EU Sanctions on Russian Gas and Oil Imports

Politics | March 8, 2022, Tuesday // 09:53|  views


Bulgaria supports sanctions against Russia as a means of halting its invasion of Ukraine but is likely to seek an exception to a possible ban on Russian natural gas and oil imports if such a proposal is made. This was stated by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov in an interview with Reuters.

A member of the EU and NATO, Bulgaria is almost entirely dependent on gas supplies from Russia's Gazprom, while its only oil refinery, owned by Russia's LUKOIL, provides more than 60% of the country's fuel. The United States is considering continuing sanctions against Russia by banning the import of Russian oil into the country, the media reported.

Germany, Russia's largest buyer of crude oil, has already rejected the idea of ​​banning oil imports, a position backed by Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov. “Bulgaria would support any measures because we are really against the war, but for these two - the import of oil and gas, we may ask for an exception ... We have no current alternatives at the moment, we are too dependent,” said Petkov.

“We fully support the Ukrainian people, we supported the first package of sanctions, we are even open to other sanctions, only these two sanctions would be very difficult for us to accept as an economy and as a state,” added the Bulgarian prime minister. His centrist coalition government will also start importing 1.5 million tonnes of wheat to secure its food supply until next year's harvest and avoid the risks that could arise from possible accidents at Ukraine's nuclear power plants.

The Black Sea country, which produced more than 7m tonnes of wheat last year, has no plans to ban wheat exports, Petkov said. Even the state plans to increase its reserves of corn and sunflower.

In the interview, Petkov added that Bulgaria has so far adhered to its goal of joining the Eurozone in January 2024. Inflation in the country will remain largely in line with that in Eurozone countries. “Bulgaria has a currency board, so somehow we are already in the Eurozone, nothing is changing for us. We do not have a separate monetary policy ... Our inflation will be quite equal to European inflation,” the Bulgarian prime minister added in an interview with Reuters.


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Tags: Reuters, Kiril Petkov, Bulgarian, oil, Russia, gas


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