Bulgaria has become one of the largest suppliers of diesel fuel to Ukraine and covers up to 40% of the country's needs throughout the war, German newspaper Die Welt reported on Jan. 18.
According to the report, the fuel is produced at a refinery on the Black Sea coast, owned by Russia’s Lukoil.
The article notes that shortly after Moscow launched its invasion, the then-Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vasilev insisted that the Lukoil Neftochim Bourgas AD refinery start exporting oil products to Ukraine, following the Russian missile attacks on oil depots and refineries across Ukraine.
Since then, about half of the fuel produced by the company has been exported to Ukraine through Romania by road and rail.
“Bulgaria became one of the largest exporters of diesel to Ukraine and at times covered 40 percent of Ukraine's needs,” the former minister said.
According to Die Welt, Bulgaria has also played a leading role in pushing for EU sanctions against Moscow and the bloc’s efforts to replace Russian energy imports.
On Jan. 13, Reuters reported that the Bulgarian government is going to take control of the Neftochim Burgas refinery for up to one year. The corresponding decision was made by the country's parliament to protect critical infrastructure and ensure a steady fuel supply.