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No risk of fuel shortages in Bulgaria, if Lukoil leaves the country, Finance Minister says

Photo: BTA

There is no risk of Bulgaria running out of fuel, Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said in response to Lukoil's announcement that it was considering selling its operations in the country.

"In view of the significant change in the operating conditions of the LUKOIL Group companies in Bulgaria, the Company has commenced work to review its strategy with respect to this asset. Various options will be analysed with the involvement of international consultants, including the sale of the business, the company wrote in a press release, published on its website. ...The revision of the strategy is a consequence of the adoption by the Bulgarian state authorities of discriminatory laws and other unfair, biased political decisions towards the refinery, which have nothing to do either with the civilized regulation of a large business or with increasing the revenue part of the country's budget."

The minister went on to say that he was glad that Lukoil had announced its intentions. "As you know, in late September-early October we had advance information that this process had begun. Every company is allowed and entitled to decide where to operate and what to do with its own assets".

Assen Vassilev pointed out that, from the Bulgarian government's point of view, "we have to ensure, through our representative who is in the company, that the refinery will continue to operate with a strategic investor, if possible, and that in fact Bulgarian interests will be protected".

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