The federal government has determined to withdraw the estimated income of €1.2 billion from the brand new tax on the switch of Russian fuel from the state funds 2024 as a result of the ruling majority doubts that the cash will be obtained, Finance Minister Asen Vasilev mentioned on Sunday.
On the finish of October, the EU Fee introduced that Bulgaria has each proper to introduce a brand new tax of €10/MWh on Russian fuel passing by means of Bulgarian territory, regardless of protests from Serbia and Hungary that this could result in larger gas costs. The authorities in Sofia have assured that the cash will probably be sought by Gazprom and never by the Russian fuel monopoly’s European prospects.
Bulgaria anticipated income from the brand new price to be paid by mid-November, however the nation has not but been in a position to acquire cash from a Russian firm.
“There have been further investments deliberate (with this cash), however they fell out of the final framework of the funds,” mentioned Vasilev.
Euractiv Bulgaria first reported that the state could not obtain any cash from the brand new price as Bulgaria is making an attempt to impose a tax on pipeline fuel, which may hardly be licensed as Russian as a result of it’s a combination of a number of sources. Russia has mechanisms to hide the origin of the gas, which first passes by means of Turkey earlier than coming into Bulgaria’s fuel pipeline system.
To date, there was no response from Gazprom concerning the launched power contribution, and it’s not clear whether or not the Russian concern intends to pay it. Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vassilev has already mentioned that if the Russian fuel monopolist refuses to pay, the seizure of its monetary collateral below contracts in Bulgaria or property within the nation will happen.
Nevertheless, the most important parliamentary pressure, GERB, which is a part of the ruling majority, introduced that the price could by no means be collected and demanded that the quantity be excluded from the 2024 funds. If Gazprom doesn’t pay the charges, it may enhance Bulgaria’s funds deficit by practically 1% because the nation tries to affix the eurozone beginning 1 January 2025.
“There are issues (in parliament over the fuel tax) which are unfounded,” Asen Vassilev mentioned.
On Sunday, the finance minister additionally accused the Russian oil firm Lukoil, which owns the Bulgarian refinery in Burgas, of making an attempt to “instil concern”.
On Saturday, the administration of the Lukoil Neftochim Bulgaria refinery introduced that it could cease working if the federal government bans from 1 January the export of petroleum merchandise produced from Russian oil.
“A month and a half to 2 months in the past, the parliament adopted a regulation that ought to regularly scale back using Russian oil. The ban on exports from 1 January issues Russian oil. If there may be non-Russian oil, it may possibly simply be exported, Vassilev additionally mentioned. Based on the minister, this may merely speed up the transition to non-Russian oil.
(Krassen Nikolov | Euractiv.bg)