The Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic denied that the signing of a gas deal with Moscow on the weekend was connected to the country’s refusal to impose sanctions on Russia.
“There is no sign of equality” between the low gas prices Serbia agreed to with Russia, and the fact that Serbia has not placed sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, Brnabic said.
“Everyone who accuses us of not imposing sanctions on Russia because of the gas arrangement should be ashamed of themselves. We are not imposing sanctions on Russia out of principle,” she asserted
“Sanctions do not contribute to peace but antagonize the situation,” she added, citing that Serbia was once a victim of sanctions.
Brnabic said that President Aleksandar Vucic “did a great job for Serbia” in signing the gas deal with Moscow, securing a favorable gas price during a telephone discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He finished a great thing and I really don’t know how he succeeded. He did more and got better for Serbia under 100 times more difficult circumstances,” said Brnabic.
Following Sunday’s telephone conversation between the two leaders, Vucic said he and Putin had agreed to calculate the price of gas on the basis of the price of oil, which is set to more than 3,500 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters by the winter.
The current six-month contract expires today, on 31 May.
Over the past six months, Serbia has been paying 270 dollars for 1,000 cubic meters of gas from Russia.
According to Vucic, the new gas deal with Moscow included a three-year gas supply of 2.2 billion cubic meters in principle, with Serbia needing an additional 800 million cubic meters due to increased consumption.
Vucic said the delivery of the gas would be handled with the director of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Alexei Borisovich Miller.
The energy adviser at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS), Ljubinko Savic, said the gas deal with Moscow secured a good price of gas for Serbian citizens, which in reality would range from 340 to 350 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.
In March, Serbia voted in support of a United Nations resolution calling on Russia to “immediately” withdraw from Ukraine. In the days leading up to the vote, there was much uncertainty over Serbia’s position due to the country’s close ties with Moscow.
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