Bulgaria will sign a contract for the design of a new gas interconnector with Serbia, it became clear during a regional energy meeting in Sofia.
It was attended by the Ministers of Energy of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and North Macedonia.
The key topic of discussion during the meeting was energy security and independence of the whole region.
"We are seeing an unprecedented war in Ukraine that has cost many lives. We also see how energy is used as a weapon. This is so obvious because there are unilateral breaches of contracts by Gazprom." This was stated by Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov at the meeting dedicated to energy security, which is being held in Sofia.
As a candidate for membership of the EU, Serbia too is under pressure to join the Western sanctions on Russia, but has so far refused to do so, not least given the importance of Russia's United Nations Security Council veto when it comes to frustrating the international integration of Serbia's former southern province, Kosovo.
"Purely technologically, Bulgaria can do without Russian oil, but this would significantly increase the cost of fuel. Therefore, if the European Commission allows exemptions [from the oil embargo], we will exercise our right to request such an exemption as well."
This was stated by Finance Minister Asen Vassilev in an interview with the weekly "Capital".
The price of gas in May in Bulgaria will be equal to that on European stock exchanges. There, blue fuel is traded for about 100 euros, which means that the increase will be about 35% in May compared to the price in April. This forecast was made by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) Chairman Stanislav Todorov during the open meeting of the regulator on Friday.