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Bulgaria cancels tax on Russian gas transit after Hungary's threats

Bulgaria cancels tax on Russian gas  transit after Hungary's threats Photo: Bulgaria backs repeal of tax on transit of Russian gas amid Hungary's threats (

The Bulgarian Parliament has approved the cancellation of the transit tax on Russian gas through its territory following threats from Hungary to veto the country's application to join the European Schengen Zone, reports News BG.

According to Bulgarian MP from PP/DB Radoslav Rybarski, at today's briefing for the media, the National Assembly has removed the obstacle for the country's Schengen membership.

During the plenary sessions, there was also approval for the exemption from taxing the import of oil from Russia, which will come into effect on March 1, 2024.

This concerns the repeal of a tax of 20 levs (approximately 11 US dollars) per megawatt-hour on Russian gas coming from the Turkish Stream pipeline, which was headed to Hungary and Serbia.

The decision was made in the Bulgarian Parliament after the parliamentary group Revival blocked the podium, raising their hands and speaking from their seats.


Last week, Budapest threatened Sofia with a veto on Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Zone if the country did not cancel the transit fee for Russian gas.

Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Szijjarto, stated that Budapest would lift the veto as soon as the transit fee was lifted.

It is worth noting that amid ongoing efforts by Western European countries to reduce Russian gas dependence, Hungary receives 4.5 billion cubic meters of "blue fuel" annually from Russia according to an agreement signed in 2021.

The West's stance on the tax on Russian gas was approved in October and is aimed at reducing Gazprom's profits.

Also, last week, the Netherlands gave the "green light" for Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Zone. Austria was also an opponent of this decision.