Bulgaria, Country’s exemption from Russian oil sanctions does not include resale

, SEE Energy News

The European Commission said that Bulgaria has been exempted from the European Union’s sanctions against Russian oil imports by sea because of the country’s geographical location. However, this exemption, valid until the end of 2024, allows Bulgaria to supply itself with oil, and not resell it to other EU member states or third countries.

Bulgarian Ministry of Finance reacted to interpretations according to which the European Commission said that despite the EU’s embargo on Russian oil, the Bulgarian Government allows Lukoil Neftochim to export petroleum products made in Bulgaria from crude oil imported from Russia.

The statement from the Ministry said that speculations on this subject whips up unnecessary tension in society, adding that the European Commission should responsibly present the information in full and interpret it correctly. Bulgaria does not intend to re-export Russian crude oil and to violate the restriction. However, refined petroleum products produced in a third country on the basis of Russian crude oil and exported to another member state or a third country could not possible be subject to the sanctions because they are manufactured outside Russia.

It is important to note that restricting exports and intracommunity supplies of petroleum products made from crude oil and petroleum products origi- nating or exported from Russia will lead to a substantial decrease in the production capacity and will curb the operation of the companies operating in the Bulgarian market. Such a measure would directly impact our country’s export potential, worsening the trade balance and eroding the proceeds from intracommunity supplies and exports, with all ensuing negative consequences for the budget. Ensuring unimpeded export is fundamen- tal to national economic development, reads the statement from the Ministry.