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Bulgaria Halts Import of Russian Oil

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Photo: Bulgaria Halts Import of Russian Oil. Source: lukoil.bg
Photo: Bulgaria Halts Import of Russian Oil. Source: lukoil.bg

Bulgaria officially stopped importing and using Russian oil for fuel production on 1 March following a parliamentary decision that terminated the exemption from EU sanctions, BGNES reports.

Last year, the Bulgarian government announced plans to end the sanctions exemption on 1 March instead of the previous, self-imposed deadline of 31 October.

In December 2023, lawmakers decided to significantly reduce this deadline to avoid indirectly financing Russia amid geopolitical tensions and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Also, as of 1 January 2024, Bulgaria stopped exporting Russian oil refined products.

The day before the ban, Bulgaria's state aviation operator warned that government flights would have to be suspended due to a shortage of kerosene. To address the problem, officials are proposing to extend privileges for aviation fuel or alternative mechanisms.

Despite the concerns, Bulgarian industry experts predict that the suspension of oil imports from Russia will not cause a spike in fuel prices.

This exception to the oil sanctions has brought Russia almost two billion euros in export revenues since the sanctions were imposed, which, according to experts, has resulted in the payment of 1 billion euros in taxes to the aggressor country, which has been waging war in Ukraine since 2022.

As a reminder, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov recently paid a solidarity visit to Ukraine. The Bulgarian delegation that arrived in Kyiv with the Prime Minister also included the Ministers of Justice, Environment and Energy - Atanas Slavov, Yulian Popov and Roumen Radev, Deputy Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs - Stanimir Georgiev and Tikhomir Stoychev, as well as the Chief of Defence, Admiral Emil Eftimov.

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