Gazprom has taken over the most important border points of Bulgarian transit pipelines, without having to pay billions of euros for their construction and without owning the pipes – circumventing EU rules under the Third Energy Package, according to Euractiv.
The billions for Balkan Stream are provided by the Bulgarian state, and the takeover took place through long-term contracts between Gazprom and the Bulgarian state operator Bulgartransgaz covering the reservation of almost all border capacities, according to data from the European Network of Gas Operators (ENTSO-G).
Almost 100% Bulgaria’s gas is imported. Imports and exports of natural gas depend on the capacity of seven entry and exit points on cross-border gas pipelines in Bulgaria.
A review of the long-term capacities reserved so far shows that Gazprom has all of the country’s key exits in the strategic southern direction to Turkey, Greece and North Macedonia, as well as to Serbia in the west.