“Lukoil” has started a procedure for the sale of the oil refinery in Burgas, Finance Minister Asen Vassilev said in an interview with the British newspaper “Financial Times”.

According to him, Lukoil’s decision to part with its largest refinery in Southeast Europe is due to government pressure on Russian companies.

“There is probably an economic benefit from the change of ownership of the refinery. We have indications of interest,” Vassilev adds.

The government is not involved in the sale of the refinery, which supplies international customers with more than half of its output – including important diesel supplies to Ukraine at the start of the war, the Financial Times recalls.

The Finance Minister told the publication that the government will leave the punitive measures on the refinery until it is taken over by new owners. The 60 percent profit tax imposed recently will be reduced to 15 percent after the change of ownership.

In the meantime, the parliament obliged the refinery to prepare for the processing of non-Russian oil from autumn 2024, and the modernization will cost 500 million euros.