More than 90% of Bulgaria’s natural gas is imported from Russia. Last week, Gazprom completely cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria in the absence of ruble payments from the two countries for fuel supplies.
According to the quoted source, Sofia has managed to secure alternative deliveries from Greece and has not yet cut deliveries to customers, but companies have expressed concern that the price of gas could be increased by 20% – 30%.
The cost of electricity in Bulgaria has been rising since last autumn, prompting the government to freeze prices for households and provide compensation to companies. As a result of rising energy prices, inflation rose to 12.4% in March, the highest level since July 2008. Thus, this month the authorities want to take measures to alleviate inflationary pressures, Agerpres reports.
“One of the measures will be a request for a derogation from the EU for the exemption from the payment of excise duties on electricity and natural gas “, it is shown in a Government communiqué.
Bulgaria’s main business organizations, worried about the new rise in gas prices, have called on the executive to find ways to resume talks with Gazprom and extend compensation for rising energy prices.
In the field of transport, companies are threatening protests nationwide, urging authorities to halve excise duties on fuel and other measures to lower fuel prices.
EU sources told Reuters that Bulgaria has demanded exceptions from the planned EU embargo on Russian oil, as Lukoil Neftochim Burgas, the largest fuel supplier, processes Russian crude oil. However, the EU did not offer concessions to Bulgaria, sources said.
According to the initial proposal, presented by the EU Executive on Wednesday, European companies should have stopped offering shipping, brokerage, insurance and financing services for the transportation of Russian oil globally, one month after the adoption of the new sanctions.
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