Bulgaria claims to have found a cheap gas source to replace Russia

The agreement was reached during a meeting between Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

According to the agreement just reached, deliveries will begin in June. Bulgaria will receive the goods at a price lower than the price they pay for buying natural gas from Russia. However, the exact number has yet to be revealed.

Bulgaria claims to have found a cheap gas source to replace Russia - 1

The LNG agreement between Bulgaria and the US was reached after Sofia refused Moscow’s request for payment in rubles. (Image: Getty)

Russia stopped supplying gas to Bulgaria because Sofia refused to pay in rubles at Moscow’s request. This mechanism is used by Russia to secure Moscow’s gas payments to its partners against Western sanctions – introduced to limit Russian financial transactions.

Earlier, Sofia refused Moscow’s request for payment in rubles. Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said that Russia’s new gas payment procedure at the request of Russia “possess many risks”.

“Actually, we will lose control of our money after paying in USD as per the agreement. There is a risk of a breach of obligation – failure to fulfill the conditions by a Russian bank, which will be responsible for converting the corresponding amount into rubles.” Alexander Nikolov said.

However, at least 10 countries in Europe that buy Russian oil have complied with the new payment mechanism, opening accounts with Gazprombank to transfer payments. Most recently, German gas importer VNG agreed to pay for gas in rubles.

The EU is still facing many difficulties in reaching a consensus among its member states on the ban on Russian oil. The European Commission (EC) is said to have adjusted the proposal related to the oil embargo from Russia to allow some countries more time to adapt.

Accordingly, Hungary and Slovakia can continue to buy Russian oil from pipelines until the end of 2024, while the Czech Republic can continue this operation until June 2024.

Earlier, Bulgaria said it would not support new EU sanctions against Russia if the country was not exempt from Moscow’s proposed oil embargo.

“Our position is very clear. If some countries are exempt, we also want to be exempt. If not, we will not support sanctions. However I do not expect that based on that. negotiations at the moment”Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Assen Vassilev on May 8 said.

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