Bulgaria, Country will most likely go to arbitration with Gazprom

, SEE Energy News

Former CEO of Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) Valentin Nikolov said that Bulgaria made a big mistake by not adhering to existing gas supply contract with Russian Gazprom, adding that there is no way Gazprom will agree to a new contract and the dispute will most likely be resolved via arbitration.

Nikolov, who already has experience with arbitration regarding the NPP Belene project, said that Bulgaria is in a very bad position. Bulgaria cannot honor the existing contract because it is impossible to withdraw the quantities by the end of the year, that it has not taken in accordance with the existing contract. The option, is to ask Gazprom for contract extension, so the country could take these quantities and avoid paying for gas that it did not receive.

On the other hand, caretaker Energy Minister Rossen Hristov said that the Ministry has already contacted Gazprom regarding the resumption of gas supplies and expects to receive a reply for Russian company during this week.

Gazprom halted gas supplies to Bulgaria in late April, after the country refused to comply with Russia’s demands for payments in rubles.