Bulgaria's National Assembly Votes Against Immediate Repeal of Russian Oil Derogation

Politics | November 16, 2023, Thursday // 15:40|  views

Delyan Dobrev

Bulgaria's National Assembly cast a crucial vote, tallying 94-55 with 61 abstentions, dismissing a proposed bill by GERB-SDS's Delyan Dobrev. The bill aimed to swiftly rescind an exception allowing the processing of Russian-sourced oil, a move in response to an EU-issued ban.

Following the vote's outcome, both GERB-SDS and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) parliamentary groups exited the debating chamber.

The European Commission granted Bulgaria a waiver from the EU embargo on oil imports from Russia in 2022 due to the country's specific geographical situation. However, a recent amendment to the Act on Control over the Application of the Restrictive Measures concerning Russia's actions stipulates that this exception will be definitively withdrawn by October 1, 2024, three months earlier than the initial December 31, 2024 deadline. During the transitional period, the Lukoil Neftochim refinery, under Russian control, is mandated to gradually reduce the use of Russian-origin oil, limiting it from up to 80% until December 31, 2023, down to a maximum of 25% until September 30, 2024.

The rejection of this bill signals a decision to maintain the existing timeline for phasing out the reliance on Russian-sourced oil, sparking debate and political discord within the National Assembly.

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Tags: oil, Russian, vote, Bulgaria


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