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The European Commission has sent questions to Bulgargaz in connection with the gas deal with the Turkish company Botash. Brussels is looking into whether there is a violation of the rules of free competition.

Bulgargaz itself announced that it will respond to the questions asked by the EC on time and that it often communicates with the General Directorate. In June, it became clear that the Ministry of Energy began a full review of the entire process in which the agreement between Bulgargaz and Turkey's Botas was concluded.

The investigation carried out by the Energy Ministry showed no violations. The report was sent to the National Assembly, the ministry explained. An interesting case, however, is that both the caretaker energy ministry and the current one claim that there is no contract signed between the state-owned companies Bulgargaz and Botás, but only an agreement for the future conclusion of a contract. Its term should be 13 years and give Bulgaria access to the Turkish gas transmission network and five of the seven terminals in our southern neighbor. It is expected that we will receive nearly 1.9 billion euros from Turkey annually. cubic meters of gas. For comparison, our consumption is between 2 and 2.5 billion. cubic meters per year. And although it is not a contract, gas is already supplied through the Turkish infrastructure.

Bulgargaz: EC review covers the last few years

The European Commission has sent questions to the state-owned company Bulgargaz over the deal with Turkey's Botash.

"What we can confirm is that we have sent a letter asking for more information. The European Commission is closely monitoring the case and we are in touch with the relevant authorities and relevant stakeholders. Our role is to ensure compliance with European standards for regulating the internal energy market," said Lea Zuber, spokesperson for the European Commission.

Brussels says that if indications of non-compliance, including possible violations of EU antitrust rules, are found, the Commission will not hesitate to take appropriate action.

Bulgargaz sent an opinion on the topic to the media. It does not mention the Turkish company Botas, but only says that the EC has requested information about deals concluded by the company in recent years. The company will answer the questions.

The agreement between state-owned Bulgargaz and Turkey's state-owned Botas envisages a 13-year contract, with Bulgaria having access to the Turkish gas system and five of the seven LNG terminals in our southern neighbor.

The Ministry of Energy explained that it had checked the documents of the agreement. The report was submitted to the National Assembly. At the end of June, the current Energy Minister Rumen Radev was also heard on the topic, announcing that no violations had been found.

Although it is not really a contract, the agreement is already in force. The first tanker unloaded in Turkey was received on April 18 this year. Then there was the caretaker Energy Minister Rosen Hristov and the Executive Director of Bulgargaz Denitsa Zlateva.

"For Bulgargaz is an extremely important day when we start the strategic partnership with Botas and the first delivered tanker under the contract signed in January," said Denitsa Zlateva, Executive Chairman. Director of Bulgargaz, 18.04.2023

EC investigates gas deal with Turkey of caretaker government

"What has been agreed with Botas is to use the infrastructure for unloading, re-gasification, storage and delivery of even quantities to Bulgaria. In this case, we expect to be able to deliver up to 10 tankers per year, "said Rosen Hristov, caretaker energy minister at the cabinnet of Gulof Donev 18.04.2023.

Brussels also commented on the increased transit fee for Russian gas introduced by Bulgaria, which is expected to increase the prices of blue fuel for Serbia and Hungary.

"We are assessing and discussing with the Bulgarian authorities this recently introduced measure. I can add that the EU's policy on sanctions against Russia was created and adopted by the entire EU at the very beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine," said Olof Gil, a spokesman at the European Commission.

The Commission stresses the need for Europe to remain united in its support for Ukraine.

Performing an inspection