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Bulgaria closed oil loophole that allowed Russia to earn €1 billion

Nov 21, 2023

The Bulgarian government has made a decision that will prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions against its oil sector and will not allow it to earn money to wage war.

This is reported with reference to the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine.

"Bulgaria has decided to stop importing crude oil from Russia in March 2024, i.e. 6 months earlier than planned," the statement said.

It is noted that the country's government made this decision to prevent Russia from circumventing Western sanctions after it became known that this loophole allowed the Kremlin to raise an additional 1 billion euros for its military actions against Ukraine.

It is noted that the refusal of Russian oil will take place in two stages. From January 1 next year, the country will suspend export quotas, and from March 1, it will completely stop importing and refining oil from Russia.

Bulgarian Finance Minister Assen Vassilev emphasized that this decision is useful because it stops exports and money going to Russia, and also guarantees stability in the domestic fuel market.

At the end of September, it was reported that the Bulgarian parliament had approved a gradual end to Russian oil imports, which would put the country in line with other members of the European Union.

But in early November, Politico reported that the Kremlin has earned an additional 1 billion euros this year after Russia's largest private oil company took advantage of loopholes in EU sanctions rules with the help of Bulgaria.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 21/11/2023

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