December 19 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria will be allowed to export to Ukraine diesel products refined locally from imported Russian crude oil under a special exemption, the European Commission said.
Exports of this kind have been allowed for Hungary and Slovakia as well, as part of the provisions of the latest, ninth package of EU sanctions against Russia over the war on Ukraine, the Commission said in a press release on Friday.
"In a spirit of solidarity with Ukraine, today's package clarifies that these member states can refine Russian crude oil and re-export those diesel products to Ukraine. This will provide Ukraine with a valuable source of supply while its refineries are affected by the war," the EU executive said.
Bulgaria received a derogation from an EU-wide ban on seaborne Russian oil imports in June. The derogation enables the country to carry on importing crude oil and petroleum products from Russia by sea until the end of 2024.
Last month, Bulgaria reached agreement with Lukoil Neftochim Burgas, which is part of the European arm of Russia's Lukoil and the owner of Bulgaria's sole oil refinery, that it will transfer all of its financial operations to Bulgaria as of January 1, 2023 in exchange for the ability to receive deliveries of the Urals crude from Russia and to export refined products.
The agreement is thus expected to unlock between 600 million and 700 million levs ($380.4 million/357.9 million euro) in revenue to Bulgaria's state budget next year, as a result of a newly adopted taxation rate of 33% applicable on windfall profits by local fossil fuel companies.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)