icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Gazprom buys into Serbian energy assets

Russia's gas company Gazprom and Serbia have agreed in principle to build a joint gas pipeline project worth more than $US 800 million.

Russia’s also looking to buy Serbian state energy company NIS, and to construct an underground gas storage facility on Serbian territory.

Serbian energy and mining minister, Aleksandar Popovic, believes the projects will help both Gazprom and Serbia to develop new potentials that were not even thought of a decade ago.

“Serbia is dependant on the import of gas and oil, and certainly a partnership with of such a strength and magnitude of possibilities will mean that Serbia can become an energy centre and an important transit route in this part of Europe,” the minister said.

In winter, Serbia consumes about 10 million cubic metres of gas every day. At the moment, it relies on Gazprom supplies coming through Ukraine and Hungary. Serbia suffered from gas shortages during Russia’s 2006 gas dispute with Kiev.

The proposed pipeline would link to the ‘Blue Stream’ pipeline running from Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea.

It could mean the construction of an underground gas storage facility in northern Serbia.

The deal will give Russia more control over Balkan energy networks – through which much of Western Europe’s gas and oil is supplied.

Other sectors winning from closer ties include banking and tourism. Russian businesses have already bought the country’s largest travel agency Putnik.

Some analysts say Russia is investing in Serbia in order to support Belgrade’s opposition to independence for Kosovo.

But Serbian officials say the strategic partnership is simply aimed at generating extra revenue to help the country recover from years of wars and economic sanctions.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts