Regional Coordination Center for Supply of Gas and Electricity to Southeast Europe to be based in Bulgaria


“Today Bulgaria received very strong support from the European institutions to address the shutoff of gas supplies by Gazprom. Together with the European Commission we discussed the establishment of a Regional Coordination Center in Bulgaria to manage the gas pipelines and the power grid in Southeast Europe.”  This is what Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Assen Vassilev stated. Together with Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov, he met today in Brussels with Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, and with the Office of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and the Office of Charles Michel, President of the European Council.


“The next step will be to make joint purchases of gas, together with the rest of the countries in the region,” Deputy Prime Minister Vassilev said. “We are negotiating supplies from diverse sources and if the process is successful, we can avoid the rise in the gas prices,” Energy Minister Nikolov said.


The focus of all talks was the unilateral cut of natural gas supplies to Bulgaria by Gazprom and the consequent moves to protect the European interest. “To cut supplies is a gross violation by the Russian company of a valid contract. Together with the European institutions, we are considering the option to take legal action as per the terms and conditions of the contract. We have made a request for legal assistance in the arbitration process so that the EU legal teams can be involved,” Assen Vassilev noted.


“The Gazprom’s demands are fully dissonant with our contract and the mode of payment fixed therein. What Gazprom wants is to pay for the deliveries in rubles subject to a mode where we are denied control over the payment itself and over the conversion into rubles,” Minister Alexander Nikolov commented.


The ministers Vassilev and Nikolov assured that Bulgaria has enough gas and that no problems with supplies are to be expected in the coming months.