“There is already a plan for a full switch to non-Russian oil and it is by law, if Lukoil does not comply with, it will suffer sanctions. The state can enter the refinery with the commercial manager,” Economy Minister Bogdan Bogdanov said on TV show ”Face to Face”.
The one-year deadline for the Russian oil derogation is realistic. It must be in line with the fact that Lukoil must negotiate and deliver to Bulgaria suitable oil at the best prices, he insisted.
“We decided to prepare arguments, which the government has been working on for the last month. We heard different opinions from experts. There were those who said that the derogation for Russian oil should stop immediately. Others that gave a time limit of up to three weeks. There were those who said that we should never switch Russian oil supplies. We requested analyses from experts in the specific field, from institutions and services and from the Security Council of the Council of Ministers. The decision was to propose a deadline that is realistic and in the interest of consumers and the state,” Bogdanov said.
The economy minister stressed that for the last one year no plan has been prepared on how Lukoil will switch entirely to non-Russian oil. “That was the first thing I asked for. I expected that this plan was provided by Lukoil to the caretaker cabinet, but there was no such plan,” he added.
“The refinery installation is one of the most modern. The more serious problem is the supply of raw material, transport, storage. The refinery must maintain the production capacities and turnover of the last five years,” Bogdanov explained.
“We announce the average turnovers of the last five years you have to maintain them according to the schedule set for you. You should already start paying your taxes in Bulgaria. This is something very important. In the last year and a half Lukoil started paying taxes because of the derogation. They paid BGN 89 million and by the end of the year we expect another BGN 280 million of tax to come into the budget. The state interest is protected,” he said.