Russian Oil Company Claims its Bulgarian Plant Does Not Supply Ukraine

Lukoil does not supply any of its fuel from Burgas, its plant in Bulgaria, to Ukraine, the company told a Russian news agency on Wednesday.

“In connection with a new wave of speculative publications in the media, Lukoil once again states that it has no contracts and has not supplied its production to Ukraine from the plant in Burgas (Bulgaria) or through other channels in 2022,” Lukoil told Russian news agency TASS.

On 18 January, EURACTIV’s partner Sega reported that Lukoil declined a request for comment following statements by Bulgarian politicians about fuel exports to Ukraine.

Later that same day, EURACTIV reported a 1,000-fold increase in the supply of petroleum products from Bulgaria to Ukraine, especially gas oil. The Lukoil refinery is the country’s main gas oil producer.

“It is important to emphasise that all products exported to Ukraine are either fuels directly produced in Russia or produced in Lukoil Neftohim,” Martin Vladimirov, director of the Energy and Climate programme at the influential Bulgarian think tank Center for the Study of Democracy (CID), told EURACTIV Bulgaria. The article does not claim that Lukoil directly sells to Ukraine.

“The company reserves the right to take legal action to protect its business reputation,” the statement said. Citing former Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vassilev, Die Welt reported that Bulgaria secretly supplied Ukraine’s armed forces with diesel fuel through foreign intermediary companies after the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The petroleum products were produced at the Lukoil Neftochim Burgas refinery.

The oil company says that such assumptions have been refuted by a representative of the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria.

According to the Russian company, the statements about the alleged deliveries are explained by internal political struggles abroad, the anti-Russian campaign, and its appearance in the public space of the Russian Federation is due to “unscrupulous competition in the domestic energy market.”

Lukoil claims that the Bulgarian authorities have never approached the management of its enterprises with a request to supply fuel to Ukraine. The company sells wholesale and retail on the domestic market exclusively to Bulgarian buyers, with the number of buyers being about 500.

(, January 26, 2023)

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