Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Bulgaria Takes Gazprom to Court Over Halted Supplies

South Stream gas pipeline in Bulgaria. Gazprom

Bulgaria's state-owned gas supplier Bulgargaz said Tuesday it was taking Gazprom to court and seeking millions of euros in damages over the Russian company's cut of supplies after its invasion of Ukraine.

Bulgaria, which was almost totally dependent on Russia for its gas, and Poland were the first EU countries that saw their supplies halted after refusing to pay for the gas in rubles as demanded by Moscow in response to Western sanctions.

Two months ago Bulgargaz invited Gazprom to settle the dispute out of court.

"As the Russian side did not take any action to resolve the issue out of court, Bulgargaz took the necessary steps to protect the company's interests," the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

It added that it had launched legal proceedings on Monday before the Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, claiming over 400 million euros ($432 million) in damages over gas that had not been delivered between the cut in late April 2022 and the expiration of its contract in end-2022.

Before the abrupt halt, Bulgaria received 90% of its gas from Gazprom.

Since then, the country had to urgently find supplies from other sources.

It now covers a third of its annual consumption of about 3.0 billion cubic meters of gas through imports from Azerbaijan and buys liquified natural gas from the United States and the Middle East through terminals in neighboring Greece and Turkey.

It also signed in January 2023 a long-term agreement with Turkey's Botas, giving both countries access to their gas infrastructure, which Sofia had recently sought to have reviewed.

Meanwhile, Gazprom's main customer in Germany, Uniper, won the right in June to claim "more than 13 billion euros" in compensation for gas supply cuts by its former Russian partner since mid-2022, following a favorable ruling by an arbitration tribunal in Stockholm.

The total halt in deliveries had brought the group to the brink of bankruptcy and the German government rescued it by nationalizing it.

Another German energy company, RWE, has also filed a suit against Gazprom over the cuts.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more