Prime Minister Denkov and PPDB co-chairman in the parliament Kiril Petkov unanimously defended the derogation for the Russian refinery Lukoil, any removal of it before March, would have led to fuel shortages and a spike in prices during the convened Security Council of the Council of Ministers today.
A little later, the parliament threw out the bill to drop the derogation within three days.
The proposed Law on Amendments to the Law on Control of the Implementation of Restrictive Measures in View of Russia’s Actions Destabilizing the Situation in Ukraine was introduced by People’s Representative Delyan Dobrev from GERB-SDS.
It was rejected with 94 votes in favour, 55 against and 61 abstentions.
According to Kiril Petkov, the earliest date on which the derogation for the import of Russian oil can be terminated is March 1.
Anything before March 1 carries a real risk, according to the ministers, the services and the permanent representative, of increasing prices on the Bulgarian market and supply uncertainty. We are willing to refine the date from March 15th to March 1st as theoretically possible, but from our perspective, anything before that date would bring huge and unwarranted risks. We are talking about tax receipts of nearly 400 million by the end of the year and between 50 and 100 million by March. We do not see the point in the derogation being cut off after 3 days. We see high and unreasonable risks for any date before March 1, Petkov said.
Regarding the claims of representatives from GERB about a new coalition between PP-DB, “Vazrazhdane” and BSP, he commented:
My aim is also to reduce the flow of money to Putin’s regime, but this should not be done at the expense and huge risk for the Bulgarian citizens. Even realizing this trap they are trying to lead us into will not change our minds, we will not allow diesel and petrol shortages or gas station prices to go up drastically just because someone is trying to make political jokes.
Petkov commented on the topic after the Security Council held in the Council of Ministers.
As we reported, GERB representatives Desislava Atanasova and Delyan Dobrev, as well as Delyan Peevski from DPS, left the Council before its end. They are adamant that the derogation should fall immediately and there is no risk to the fuel market in our country.
Prime Minister Denkov, who is party subordinate to Kiril Petkov in the PP, announced what decisions were made by the Security Council, after the departure of the representatives of GERB and DPS. The decisions were supported by the representatives of DB, “Vazrazhdane” and BSP.
First, confirms the conclusions of the report No. C-31809 of August 29 of this year, prepared by the Minister of Economy and Industry and the Minister of Energy in coordination with the Minister of Finance and of Transport and Communications and the heads of DANS, DAR, Service “Military Intelligence “. This is the report on the basis of which decisions were taken in the National Assembly regarding the deadlines for removing the derogation.
Secondreported substantial progress in relation to the plan under item 1. In this report there were specific measures that the government should have worked on and all of them have been worked on and the progress expected has been achieved.
Third, confirms that the optimal terms for minimizing the risks are presented in the report cited under item 1. That is, if we want there to be no risk for the refinery and for the fuels in Bulgaria, the deadlines in this report must be respected.
Fourth, in the event that the National Assembly decides to consider and adopt bill No. 4935401114 of November 10, 2023, based on the available information, the minimum terms for phasing out the derogation are: After December 31, 2023 – no more than 50% of imported Russian oil. After January 31, 2024, no more than 25% imported Russian oil. From March 1, 2024 – entirely non-Russian oil. Any shortening of the terms increases the risks of disrupting Lukoil Neftohim’s operational activity and increases the risk of an increase in the market price of fuels.
Meanwhile, in the parliament, Hamid Hamid from DPS criticized the ruling party and insisted that PP co-chairman Kiril Petkov demand the resignation of two ministers.
All your actions show lobbying in favor of Lukoil and the Kremlin regime, where these people have been supporting the financing of the Kremlin regime for months now. The truth is one – here the whole battle of these people is how to delay the suspension of the derogation, so that a handful of people can realize that 60% of the produced in the refinery, which is smuggled into the EU countries, he said and added:
Mr. Petkov, it is your fault to support these people. Let Atanas Atanasov not hide. Bulgaria actively supports the circumvention of European sanctions. The fault lies with the two ministers – Energy Minister Rumen Radev and Energy Minister Bogdan Bogdanov. Mr. Petkov, it is your responsibility to ask for their resignation, Hamid also said.
Petkov replied to Hamid that reducing Russian oil from 100% to 50% is very easy, but from 50% to 0% is difficult.
The big problem is what happens between 50% and 0%. The big question is why, when the state’s experts tell us there is a real technological risk earlier than March 1, we take it, he said, asking why we don’t wait until there is a second team ready to take over, referring to the cabinet rotation that should happen on March 6.