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Bulgaria will not hold talks with Gazprom of Russia

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Bulgaria's interim government will not negotiate a new contract with Gazprom supposing that this action should be taken by the permanent Cabinet of Ministers and they would undertake such an obligation, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy Hristo Alexiev said a few days ago, writes Alex Ivanov, Moscow correspondent.

He said this following talks with the head of the Directorate of Energy of the European Commission, Ditte Juhl-Jorgensen, the press service of the government of Bulgaria reports.
Alexiev also stated that the Bulgarian government does not intend to negotiate a new short-term, medium-term or long-term contract with Gazprom Export.

"We believe that such an action should not be taken by the interim Government. Only a regular cabinet and parliament can make such a new, future commitment," the deputy prime minister said.

The Bulgarian authorities plan to announce an international tender for long—term LNG supplies, the procedure should be started by the interim government, then the decision will be made by the permanent cabinet, the press service noted.

Gazprom on 27 April, completely suspended gas supplies to the Bulgarian the company "Bulgargaz" because of the refusal to pay in Russian rubles. During the summer, gas prices began to rise strongly. In particular, in July, the price of one megawatt/hour was about 95 Euros and in August it increased 1.5 times to 149 Euros. It is assumed that the growth will continue in September.

Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova said that Russia is ready to resume gas supplies to Bulgaria at any time if the country makes payments according to the scheme proposed by Gazprom.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Rosen Hristov said that the country's government had sent Gazprom a request with a proposal to resume negotiations on gas supplies from Russia and now expects a response from the company in the coming days.

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Earlier, he announced the government's readiness to resume gas supplies from Gazprom if alternative sources of supplies are not found. According to Hristov, Bulgaria does not buy gas from Gazprom directly, but the origin of gas that enters the country from other suppliers is Russian.

At the same time Sofia signed an agreement with Washington on the supply of LNG from the United States, but the Bulgarian business assures that seven tankers with liquefied natural gas will clearly not be enough to cover the country's energy needs. Sofia is also trying to bridge the energy gap by holding talks with Azerbaijan on additional gas supplies.

On 22 June, the Bulgarian parliament voted for the resignation of the country's government of prime minister Kiril Petkov. Then Bulgarian President Rumen Radev signed a decree on the dissolution of the National Assembly of the country and appointed a provisional government. General parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2 October, 2022.

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