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Serbia secures gas deal with Azerbaijan

By AFP

November 15, 2023 10:58 PM


 

Serbia signed a deal to import natural gas from Azerbaijan on Wednesday, paving the way to end the Balkan country's almost complete dependence on Russian gas.

While visiting Baku, Serbian energy and mining minister Dubravka Djedovic Handanovic said a commercial contract was signed between Srbijagas and SOCAR, Serbian and Azeri gas companies, which would allow Serbia to import up to 400 million cubic meters of natural gas from Azerbaijan.

The deal will become possible after the interconnector to a pipeline between Serbia and Bulgaria is finished, which is expected to happen "in the coming days", she added.

"Now we achieve the strategic goal to diversify suppliers additionally strengthen our position as a transit country for gas supply of central Europe," Djedovic Handanovic said in a statement.

She added that, as of 2026, Serbia could receive "billion cubic meters of gas" annually from Azerbaijan.

In the last few decades, Serbia gradually allowed Moscow almost complete monopoly over its energy sector by building pipelines solely for Russian gas and selling the majority stake of its oil and gas company (NIS) to Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Last year, Belgrade inked a fresh long-term contract to continue importing Russian gas, drawing a rebuke from Brussels as the EU tries to reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

While Serbia -- a European Union candidate country -- has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations, it has refused to take part in sanctions against Moscow.


AFP


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