According to the Bulgarian Government, it plans to ask the European Commission to allow it to eliminate excise duties on electricity and natural gas in order to protect its economy.
More than 90 % of Bulgaria’s natural gas is imported from Russia. Recently, Gazprom completely cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria because the two countries did not pay in rubles for the supplied gas.
Bulgaria managed to secure alternative deliveries from Greece and has not cut deliveries to customers yet, but companies have expressed concern that the price of gas could be raised by 20 to 30 %.
The cost of electricity in Bulgaria has been rising since last autumn, prompting the Government to freeze prices for households and provide compensation to companies.
Bulgaria’s main business organizations, worried about the new rise in gas prices, have called on the Government to find ways to resume talks with Gazprom and extend compensation for rising energy prices. In the field of transport, haulage companies are threatening nationwide protests, urging authorities to halve excise duties on fuel and other measures to lower fuel prices.
Bulgaria has already demanded exceptions from the planned EU embargo on Russian oil, as its Lukoil Neftochim refinery in Burgas, processes Russian crude oil. However, the EU has not offered concessions to Bulgaria, at the same time offering similar exemptions to Hungary and Slovakia.