Bulgaria stopped imports in April after refusing to pay for the commodity in rubles
The Bulgarian government is considering holding talks with energy giant Gazprom on resuming Russian natural gas imports, Energy Minister Rosen Hristov said on Monday in an interview with bTV.
The minister stressed that Bulgaria is exploring all options for alternative gas sources, and that securing such supplies is a top priority.
"But if they are not enough, I will not become the minister who will leave people freezing in winter," Hristov was quoted by DNESnews as saying.
According to the official, buying natural gas from the Russian company will not mean Sofia diverging from the EU position.
"We will not accept conditions different from those accepted by Germany and other EU countries," he said.
Hristov noted that the Bulgarian government has carried out a risk analysis, and if the country starts negotiations with Gazprom, it will try to ensure that "supplies are stable, at the best price, and as safe as possible."
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Deliveries through terminals in Turkey and increased in imports from Azerbaijan are among the options being considered by the Balkan nation, he added.
In April, Bulgaria rejected the ruble-for-gas payment method introduced by Russia in response to Western sanctions. Under the new regulation, buyers from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow, are obliged to pay for Russian natural gas in rubles. Sofia's refusal to accept the new terms prompted Gazprom Export to halt fuel supplies to its Bulgarian partner, Bulgargaz.
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