In the event that Russia changes its demand that the quantities of gas purchased by Gazprom be paid in rubles, Bulgaria may reconsider its decision not to buy Russian blue fuel. This became clear from the words of the Minister of Innovation and Growth Daniel Lorer to BNT. He noted that the change in the method of payment by Moscow is in violation of our agreement, as well as the sanctions imposed by the EU. Laurer noted that he was not aware of any government officials currently negotiating with Gazprom, but could not say whether private companies were doing so. Even if there are, they will certainly have to comply with EU rules and EC decisions.
According to Lorer, it has also become clear that stopping gas supplies from Russia is not such a problem for Bulgaria, as we consume small quantities that can be obtained from other sources. The biggest one will be the suspension of Russian oil supplies. "We will need more time for oil to be able to replace it cost-effectively," Laurer said.
In this regard, he expressed confidence that Bulgaria will receive a derogation from the pan-European embargo and will not have to veto it. "Europe understands that exceptions are needed for certain countries. I am convinced that Europe will find a mechanism to compensate Bulgaria in the event of an embargo, if such an embargo occurs, because it may not happen immediately," Lorer said.
He added that there is no real problem for the refinery in Burgas to work with oil from other sources. The question, however, is at what cost this will happen.
The specific measures that the government is preparing in the anti-inflation package that is to be adopted have not yet been fully clarified between the coalition partners, Lorer said. As an example, he pointed to the idea of a discount of 25 cents per liter of fuel, which is still under discussion and it is not clear at the moment what will be the term and scope of this measure.
It also became clear from the words that there are certain differences in the vision between the coalition partners regarding certain measures. From "We continue to change", for example, are skeptical about the idea of introducing a tax-free minimum on income.
Lorer also noted that, depending on the final decision, the anti-inflation package will be worth between BGN 1.5 and 2 billion. The main goal will be to reduce energy prices and calm the Bulgarian economy and consumers. "What its effect will be on inflation depends on the specific parameters agreed upon by the coalition partners," Laurer added.
"Inflation is rising across the continent due to energy prices following the war in Ukraine. Our package has been very carefully refined with the capabilities of the Bulgarian economy. Our economy can support this package because of good macroeconomic indicators. Even if the budget cannot afford. At some point, these measures, Bulgaria can safely take advantage of foreign debt, if necessary." he pointed out.
Whether there will be a new package of measures in the fall depends on the development of the war in Ukraine.