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Citizens in Bulgaria protest against Gazprom

Citizens in Bulgaria protest against Gazprom

Hundreds of Bulgarians took to the streets of the capital, expressing fears that the country's interim government could break with its predecessor's pro-Western policies and return to close energy ties with Russia.

The second in a planned series of protests under the slogan '#GAZëithme' took place in front of the presidential building and organizers said they want more accountability from the caretaker cabinet.

Many people in Bulgaria, a member of the EU and NATO, are concerned that the previous pro-Western government was ousted in June because of its tough stance against Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its refusal to pay the giant Russian energy Gazprom in rubles, currency.

In late April, Russia cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria, the EU's poorest nation, after it refused Moscow's request to pay in rubles. Relations between the two former Soviet bloc allies soured under the previous government.

The first public statements from the current interim government, appointed by President Rumen Radev, indicate that Bulgaria may resume talks with Gazprom to avoid natural gas shortages later in the year.

"We refuse to be dependent on Gazprom and finance Putin's savage war!" read one of the banners.

Last month, the leaders of Greece and Bulgaria marked the completion of a new pipeline that will supply natural gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria. They said commercial shipments are expected to begin by October 1.

Source: Euronews

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