site.btaEnergy Minister: Bulgaria Supports All Measures to Stabilise Fuel Prices
“Anything that stabilises fuel prices, we support, but we reserve the right to react when there are more specifics,” caretaker Energy Minister Rossen Hristov told Bulgarian journalists in Brussels on Friday after the extraordinary session of the EU Council.
The minister said this in response to a question whether Bulgaria supports the European Commission's proposal to impose a ceiling on petrol prices as part of the new sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine. In Hristov's words, it is very difficult to have a position on the Commission's proposal to cap prices without thorough market assessments.
The Energy Minister said that in the EU Council on Friday there were disputes whether to impose a price cap on imported gas only from Russia or on all quantities. The Bulgarian position is that if such a measure is imposed, it should be valid for all gas. Imposing a cap only on Russian gas is a sanction, not an economic measure to stabilise the market, Hristov summarised. In his words, the issue will be discussed again at a meeting in Prague on October 11-12.
“In Bulgaria, we take the incident with the Nord Stream pipeline very seriously, because TurkStream passes through our country, there is other infrastructure, and we will probably discuss certain measures to increase security and protection of the sites on our territory,” the minister said. In his words, if suspicions of deliberate damage to Nord Stream are confirmed, there is probably an interest in temporarily decommissioning such infrastructure. Hristov does not believe that there will be a shutdown of TurkStream. He said the relevant authorities are doing everything that depends on them to keep the infrastructure functioning.
According to Hristov, Bulgaria continues to send requests to Gazprom under the supply contract, but so far there have been no developments on the issue. He said this was not a problem as Bulgaria secures its gas quantities through announced tenders, but the requests are being renewed to maintain the position of a bona fide party to the contract, which helps in the conclusion of the contract and the final understandings, the minister explained.