Russia demands Penalties from Bulgaria after the Suspension of Payments to Gazprom

Energy | February 10, 2023, Friday // 10:41|  views


Russia has demanded penalties from Bulgaria because of the suspended payments to Gazprom. This was announced by the Acting Energy Minister Rosen Hristov on BNT. According to him, the amount of Moscow's claim is confidential.

Russia stopped the supply of natural gas to Bulgaria at the end of April last year. The reason - our country did not pay for the blue fuel in rubles.

"Correspondence is going on, that is, claims were made from the Russian side for certain amounts, there is a response from our side," said Hristov

According to the minister, no more information can be given on the subject because it is confidential

The decision to suspend the contract with Gazprom - to stop the payment, not to respond to the request for changes in the payment - is entirely the former government's. Other countries have continued to pay, and if we say that we are complying with some sanctions regime, that’s not true.”

The minister was categorical that Bulgaria continued to buy Russian fuel, but through an intermediary.

"The gas bought from April to August-September was bought without requiring certificates of origin - that is, a large part of it was proven to be of Russian origin, and we continue to buy Russian gas, but at a higher price through traders" .

The prosecution's accusations against the former management of "Bulgargaz" and against the former energy minister Alexander Nikolov are related to this.

I do not want to interfere with the accusations, interpret them and make assumptions about guilt. The judicial system must do its job. I have given evidence, all the requested information from the Ministry and Bulgargaz‘ has been provided. I believe it has been processed and the charges have been brought on the basis of facts."

The minister also commented on the possible ban on the delivery of Russian nuclear fuel to the European Union. Yesterday, President Rumen Radev announced that Bulgaria is ready to veto such a sanction from Brussels.

"The logic of the sanctions is that they must punish the one against whom they are directed, and if we have to suffer, destroy our energy or industry, to make a scratch on Russian energy - of course, we cannot allow such sanctions. It is the same logic and with Gazprom, to start buying expensive gas just because Russia would suffer insignificantly - this thing is not justified".

It is not true that Bulgaria bought the cheapest gas in the summer, the minister also commented, showing data from Eurostat and EC reports for several European countries.

Supplies for 2023 are secured, Rosen Hristov emphasized again, and said that in the coming days tenders for the supply of liquefied gas for the slots in Turkey will be announced.

"We have to decide what kind of gas will flow there. We will negotiate with all the world's companies and producers, there are already interests from BP, Cheniere, the Middle East - Qatar and Egypt are also showing interest."

Bulgaria is making attempts to diversify nuclear fuel supplies, but this is difficult given that each supplier would have to have a license from Rosatom to be able to produce fuel for the respective plant. Yesterday, President Rumen Radev commented that our country is ready to veto such a European decision.

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Tags: Russia, Bulgaria, Gazprom, Hristov


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