ilian vassilev

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  The System Spill over   By proximity, Bulgaria mirrors Russian autocratic tendencies, including mimicking the state oligarchy model. Unlike Russia, however, the Bulgarian version can’t be sustained on “natural” resources – oil, gas, nuclear fuel-based wealth. Redistribution can be effectuated on added value and GDP growth, or thereafter on the budget accumulated taxed economic output. Bulgaria’s autocracy has limited margins for self-propelled growth and wealth sharing, which implies greater reliance on grand corruption mechanisms.   The Kremlin’s GDP sustains its dynamics even on holidays as the oil and gas industry turns round the clock. Bulgarian GDP, however, must be generated and incomes earned.   In Russia, the population exhibits extreme patience, willing to accept sacrifice in the name of “stability” (note the overlay in the jargon of the ruling


  In this article, we look at the implications for Bulgaria from Lukoil’s exit from the country’s and possibly EU’s market. While Bulgaria is definitely not Lukoil’s most important market in Europe, it bears significance, due to Lukoil’s almost complete monopoly in the oil fuels sector there, further exacerbated by this country’s full reliance on Russian energy. While Lukoil’s expected exit may represent an opportunity for Bulgaria to foster competition on its energy market, this analysis suggests that for a number of internal and external reasons, it may fail to make use of it.   By some accounts, Lukoil is considering disposal of its remaining downstream assets in Europe, including its refinery and possibly retail business in Bulgaria. The refineries in Italy, the Netherlands and Romania are also up for

This entry was posted in Bulgaria and tagged , , , , , , by A. Sorensen Henrik.

About A. Sorensen Henrik

Henrik A. Sorensen is a natural resources economist with more than four decades of professional experience. Mr. Sorensen has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Gothenburg and MBA from McCombs School. In the first part of his career he has specialized in project finance of oil production, infrastructure, and downstream operations in the US, South-east Asia, Latin America, and later, the former Soviet Union. Since 2007 Mr. Sorensen specializes predominantly in research related to economics of natural resources.

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Lubyanka_KGB (1)

  The trade and economic relations between Bulgaria and Russia in our modern history have never been ones of balanced nature – neither as a level, nor as a structure. Thanks to Petersburg’s doctrine for keeping Bulgaria dependent after 1879 by making Bulgarians cover the expenses of the Russian troops during the occupation, pay various debts out of gratitude and by outright racket in exchange for the non-interference of Russia in our internal affairs, the relations between Bulgarian and Russian business have always been crooked and unequal. Perhaps the period between the recovery of relations and the Second World War is one of the rare instances of a relatively balanced relationship. Moscow has always burdened economics and trade with a certain political agenda.   After the Second World War, Bulgaria


  You will not grasp her with your mind Or cover with a common label, For Russia is one of a kind – Believe in her, if you are able.* Fyodor Tyutchev, 1866 (Transl. A. Liberman)   For years on end I have been looking for logic in the actions of politicians and businessmen who insist on advertising themselves as Russophiles. With this clarification, I intend to exclude from the scope of this analysis idealists who claim to have an intangible/spiritual, quasi-religious devotion to everything Russian. Many of them do not speak Russian, nor do they have an in-depth knowledge of Russian literature and culture, yet they have been indoctrinated in the folklore of the Soviet Union and Russia as instilled since our childhood. However, do not think for a