Bulgaria Ends Russian Oil Imports

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.02 - 2024 8:02 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Bulgaria Ends Russian Oil Imports.

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This week, Bulgaria ceased importing Russian oil, complying with the European Union's sanctions against Russian oil imports, marking the conclusion of a two-year exemption period granted to the country, as reported by Bulgarian news outlet BGNES on March 1.

Initially, the EU enacted an embargo on Russian oil two years ago, with Bulgaria receiving a special dispensation that allowed continued imports until the end of this year.

However, the Bulgarian parliament decided last year to accelerate the termination of crude oil imports from Russia, effectively ceasing all such imports as of March 1.

In recent developments, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov engaged in discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv earlier this week, signaling Bulgaria's growing support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict.

Despite initial reluctance, Bulgaria has shifted towards a supportive stance towards Ukraine, offering military aid in contradiction to the views of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev (who is distinct from the country’s energy minister with the same name).

President Zelensky acknowledged the "fruitful and practical talks" with Denkov, praising Bulgaria's assistance in enhancing trade and normalizing maritime activities in the Black Sea and Danube regions.

As Bulgaria increasingly distances itself from Russia, its traditional ally, the country continues to confront challenges related to Russian espionage activities.

On February 26, the Bulgarian security service took action by prohibiting entry to two Russian nationals suspected of conducting intelligence operations within Bulgaria, reflecting ongoing tensions with Russia.

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