The “Lukoil – Neftohim” refinery in Burgas has promised Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov to pay over 500 million leva (250 million euros) in taxes, and in return the state will keep the derogation (exception) from the European ban on the import of Russian crude oil. This was announced to the media by the co-chairman of the DPS parliamentary group, Delyan Peevski, after a meeting of MPs and members of the cabinet on the subject.
Cancellation of the derogation was requested by GERB last week, and DPS supported the idea. According to Peevski, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov, the co-chairmen of the “We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria” group Kiril Petkov and Atanas Atanasov attended today’s meeting, and Finance Minister Asen Vassilev participated online.
The deputy added that if the money is not paid within a week, GERB and DPS will submit a proposal to parliament to cancel the derogation for the import of Russian oil. “Let Lukoil hear us clearly on this, not to think that they will not pay their taxes in Bulgaria,” said Peevski.
The chairman of the energy commission, Delyan Dobrev (GERB), added that parliament will demand that the executive power collect another 1 billion leva from Lukoil, with which to compensate fuel consumers. He recalled that according to the law adopted in January, 70 percent of the difference between the price of Russian oil of the Urals type and the Brent type should enter the energy security fund and be returned to consumers in the form of compensation. Dobrev said that at the beginning of August, a calculation was made of how much leva Lukoil did not contribute, because the law was not implemented by two successive cabinets, and it turned out that the amount was 622 million leva. Divided by fuel consumption in the country it makes 0.73 cents, which people should have received for every liter of gasoline or diesel since January, Dobrev calculated, quoted by BTA.
Peevski announced that GERB and DPS will introduce a legal amendment to place Lukoil’s fuel storage bases under the management of the State Agency “State Reserve and Wartime Stocks”. “We want to free Bulgaria from the monopoly on Lukoil’s storage facilities,” commented Peevski.
In April, the Commission for the Protection of Competition fined the oil company 195 million leva for abuse of a dominant position, because it did not allow other companies to the fuel warehouses.
Until recently, “Lukoil Neftohim” did not pay taxes in Bulgaria, reporting a loss, and since the beginning of 2021, it has been working “at the customer’s request”, which made it profitable. At the beginning of last summer, it became known that the company had paid profit tax for the first time in 15 years.