Bulgaria starts gas talks with Russia, but denies foreign policy change

Bulgaria’s Acting Prime Minister Galab Donev confirmed on Monday that Sofia had started talks with the Russian company Gazprom at the “highest level” on deliveries of previously agreed volumes of gas.

According to European Pravda, Donev said this on the air of the Bulgarian broadcaster bTV.

The head of the Bulgarian government clarified that this is not about concluding a new contract with Gazprom, but about resuming the old one (which was supposed to end this year) for an additional period in 2023 – after which Russia unilaterally stopped supplying gas from April, when Sophia refused to pay for it in rubles.

“The Minister of Energy (Rosen Khristov) is waiting for a response from Gazprom. We, as an interim government, want to complete what we have as agreements and not negotiate new contracts, the next government will do this. Our goal is to guarantee the entire heating season” Donev emphasized.

He stressed that “there is no geopolitical turn” in this decision of the Bulgarian government.

“She (Bulgaria) is part of the European Union, as well as a conscientious and reliable ally of NATO. When it comes to economic interests, geopolitics should not interfere at the geopolitical level,” the acting head of the Bulgarian government believes.

Donev added that it will be possible to increase gas supplies from other sources – primarily from Azerbaijan through the recently commissioned interconnector – only from 2024.

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