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17 Oct, 2022 14:34

Serbia bans gas exports

Belgrade is looking to secure the domestic energy supply
Serbia bans gas exports

Serbia has halted the export of natural gas until the end of the month in an effort to protect the domestic energy market, the government’s press service reported on Monday.

“The government made a decision at today’s meeting to temporarily ban the export of natural gas from the country until October 31 in order to ensure a reliable supply of the domestic market and prevent damage to the economy and citizens,” the statement says.

Last week, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called for strengthening the security of the country’s gas transportation system, which receives supplies from Russia via the TurkStream pipeline. His calls followed a report from the Russian authorities saying that saboteurs had been detained while plotting to blow up part of the TurkStream pipeline, which delivers Russian natural gas to Türkiye and further to European countries. TurkStream is currently the only “fully functional and fully loaded” pipeline for Russian gas supply to the EU, the Kremlin said.

According to Vucic, six million cubic meters of Russian gas are delivered via the TurkStream pipeline to Serbia daily.

Earlier this month, the Serbian president asked the EU to provide financial support to the Balkan nations amid the ongoing energy crisis, which has been exacerbated by the bloc’s sanctions on Moscow and a sharp reduction in Russian gas supplies. Although Serbia is not an EU member state, its energy supplies transit through countries that are, meaning that sanctions imposed by the bloc on Russia directly affect it. Vucic has opposed the sanctions on Moscow, and has made it clear that his country would continue to rely on energy supplies from Russia.

The Serbian president has been raising concerns over the upcoming heating season, saying that his country has about 660 million cubic meters of gas stored for winter, which is enough for three months of consumption.

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