In Bulgaria, the Russian oil giant Loukoil plans to sell the Bourgas refinery, the largest in the Balkans on the shores of the Black Sea. The group complains about measures deemed “discriminatory” taken by the pro-European Bulgarian government.
Russian Lukoil justifies the possible sale of the Bourgas refinery with “ significant changes that have occurred in its environment “. The thinly veiled reference targets the Bulgarian government’s measures taken against him. Latest decision to date: the adoption in Parliament in October of a 60% tax on the profits made by Loukoil.
In this context, Loukoïl takes offense “ the adoption by the Bulgarian authorities of discriminatory measures and other unfair and biased political decisions “. Saying “ not be subject to European sanctions “, the company complains of being the victim of a “ fabricated political storm that harms its activities “.
Bulgaria, historically very close to Moscow, has been seeking to free itself from its dependence on Russian gas and oil since the coming to power of a pro-European government. The country, a member of the European Union and NATO, benefits until the end of 2024 from an exemption from the embargo established by the European Union on Russian crude.
In addition to the oil needed for Bulgarian consumption, Lukoil has the right to export petroleum products to Ukraine, and to a lesser extent to Europe. This exemption will, however, end by next March, according to a recent proposal from Parliament which must be ratified in the coming weeks.
But the opposition questions the country’s ability to live without the Russian oil giant. The Lukoil group has had a virtual monopoly in Bulgaria for 20 years. It has a total of 220 service stations, 9 oil depots and remains essential to certain sectors. For example, it is the only fuel supplier for Bulgarian planes.