site.btaUPDATED Bulgaria Bans Processing of Russian Oil from March 1, 2024

Bulgaria Bans Processing of Russian Oil from March 1, 2024
Bulgaria Bans Processing of Russian Oil from March 1, 2024
The Lukoil Neftochim Burgas refinery (BTA Photo)

Bulgaria's Parliament on Monday voted, 144-0, to pass on first and second reading draft legislation prohibiting the export of fuels produced from Russian oil as from January 1, 2024 and ending the processing of oil originating from Russia by the country's only oil refinery, Russian-controlled Lukoil Neftochim Burgas, as from March 1, 2024.

In this way, Bulgaria cut short a derogation from the EU embargo on oil imports from Russia that the European Commission granted Bulgaria in 2022 due to the country's specific geographic exposure. Under the effective legislation, the exemption was to be revoked on October 1, 2024, three months ahead of the initial December 31, 2024 deadline.

The National Customs Agency is to take stock of the warehouses and to draw up an inventory of the fuels and crude oil in stock by December 31, 2023. The fuels that cannot be sold on the Bulgarian market on environmental consideration can be exported according to a procedure established by a EU regulation. 

The MPs also resolved to scrap a BGN 20/MWh contribution on Russian natural gas import to and transit via Bulgaria until EU law sets in place a regulation on the identification of the origin of natural gas. The provision, approved on first and second reading, is contained in an amendment to the Act on Control over the Application of the Restrictive Measures in View of Russia's Actions Destabilizing the Situation in Ukraine.

Bulgartransgaz EAD is liable to pay the Exchequer over BGN 272,000,000 for the period from October 13 to November 20, 2023 for the contribution even if the user has not effected payment. As a result, the gas transmission network operator is unable to perform its operation on a full scale in carrying out reliably natural gas transmission for secure consumption both within the territory of Bulgaria and the neighbouring countries. Bulgartransgaz is also unable to finance and implement strategic projects, the parliamentary Energy Committee reasoned in its report.

"The National Assembly has removed the obstacle to Bulgaria's Schengen entry by scrapping the fee on Russian gas transit," Radoslav Ribarski MP of Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria commented after the adoption of the bill. He was referring to a warning by Hungary to veto Bulgaria's admission to the Schengen area unless it lifts the fee.

/LG/

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By 11:13 on 20.06.2024 Today`s news

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