The President of the Assembly of the Gas Association in Serbia, Vojislav Vuletic, said today that Bulgaria, which refused to pay in rubles for Russian gas supplied by the Balkan gas pipeline, which also supplies Serbia, will still pay for that fuel.
“Bulgaria will pay for gas in rubles, as requested by the Russian company Gazprom, because there is no other way to provide gas,” Vuletic told Beta regarding Gazprom’s decision to cancel gas supplies to Bulgaria because it did not pay the debt in rubles until yesterday.
Russia’s state gas company Gazprom confirmed today that it has informed Bulgaria and Poland to suspend gas supplies because they did not pay for it in Russian rubles, and that any intake of gas intended for third countries will result in a reduction in transit volumes.
Vuletic said that it is technically possible to cut off gas only to Bulgaria, and not to other countries that are supplied with that transit gas pipeline, such as Serbia and Hungary, because a special pipeline supplies that country.
“These are ‘inflated’ political stories that Bulgaria will not pay for gas. It will pay for it because there is nowhere else to get it,” Vuletic said.
Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic said today that she “hopes that Bulgaria will not take gas for its own needs and that it is in constant communication with the representatives of that country.”
“We receive gas through the Balkan Stream in regular, agreed quantities of a million million cubic meters. We consume about 4.6 million cubic meters per day, which means that we have enough for our needs,” said Mihajlović. She added that, regardless of the regular supply, “Serbia was preparing for unforeseen situations, ie the interruption of gas supplies to the transit country, which, as it happened before, can take gas for its own needs.”
“We should not forget that Bulgaria is 100 percent dependent on Russian gas and does not have the possibility to procure gas for its needs from other sources. We hope that will not happen, we are in communication with them all the time,” said Mihajlović.