The sixth package of sanctions will be approved and most of Russia’s cash flows will stop. This is a strong European position and a major step, said Prime Minister Kiril Petkov before the opening of the special meeting of the European Council in Brussels on its second day. The Prime Minister noted that the sanctions would effectively decrease Russia’s oil imports to the EU by about 90% by the end of the year. Meanwhile Bulgaria will be granted the derogation requested which will be valid till yearend 2024. Kiril Petkov pointed out that Bulgaria needs the derogation as currently the Bulgarian petrochemical works is “fed with” Russian oil and operationally it takes time to switch over to oil from other sources. “This is an opportunity for us to reshape our industrial plant while we prevent a price increase on the basis of changes in the mix,” the Prime Minister said further.
Asked by reporters about the risk of a global food shortage caused by the war in Ukraine, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov noted that Bulgaria is a major grain exporter and could contribute to the solution of the problem. The country is an exporter of this very valuable product, so we will not face food shortages,“ Kiril Petkov said reassuringly. The Prime Minister pointed out that various options are being considered at EU level such as the idea of “blue corridors” where the Port of Varna could likewise be one of the solutions. In this context, Kiril Petkov emphasized that Bulgaria is beginning to occupy key positions and to be seen as a leader country and part of the solution to the problem concerning grain exports from Ukraine. The Prime Minister noted that Bulgaria’s reputation in the European Council improves while the country defends its national interests.
In his answer to a question about the refugees from Ukraine in Bulgaria, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov recalled the Government’s unprecedented support as extended over the past three months. The Prime Minister said that he had been reassured by Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova that the living conditions would be good as heretofore.