Bulgaria enjoys an exemption from the EU embargo
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Bulgaria will supply refined oil products made from Russian crude to Ukraine, the Bulgarian government announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The country received an exemption from the EU on imports of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia via maritime transport until the end of 2024. It was also granted an exclusive right to export petroleum products derived from Russia’s flagship Urals blend to third countries.
“This is necessary to limit environmental and safety risks, as such products cannot be stored safely in the country,” the statement reads.
The derogation was due to expire on February 5, when a ban on EU imports of Russian petroleum products such as diesel and kerosene kicks in.
Bulgaria mainly exports gas oil, also known as red diesel, to Ukraine, accounting for up to 90% of all deliveries to the country, according to Euroactiv data. Diesel fuel is used in heavy industry to power machinery, generators and off-road vehicles, as well as in agriculture and maritime shipping.
The fuel is produced at the country’s only refinery in Burgas, owned by Russia’s largest private oil company, Lukoil. The plant operates mainly with Russian oil imported by tankers via the Black Sea.