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Bulgaria’s unilateral sanctions anger neighbors

Bulgaria’s unilateral sanctions anger neighbors

Hungary, Serbia and North Macedonia have threatened legal action against Bulgaria’s new tax on Russian transit gas. The European Commission is looking for its line.

With the imposition of a new transit tax on Russian gas, the Bulgarian government has greatly inconvenienced its customers. While the government in Sofia asserts that the new tax will only affect Russia’s Gazprom, Hungary, Serbia and North Macedonia expect consumer prices to rise – and are threatening legal action.

Of all peoples, Europe’s permanent soloists sombrely demand the solidarity of their EU partners. In a joint statement issued in mid-October, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali condemned the Bulgarian government’s decision to impose a transit tax of €10.2 per MWh as a “hostile act” “directed against Hungary and Serbia.” Russian gas deliveries: The decision threatens the energy security of both countries – and “undermines European solidarity.”

Due to Sofia’s refusal to pay for Russian gas shipments in rubles, Moscow already imposed a delivery moratorium against Bulgaria in April 2022. Bulgaria has so far passed Russian gas transit shipments to neighboring countries and Hungary, which pay in rubles, to end users without any problems. Only now has the new pro-Western Bulgarian government imposed a controversial special tax on Russian gas in transit: Sofia’s unilateral sanctions have angered its end users.

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