14:07 GMT12 April 2021
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    The European Commission has approved a plan concerning measures to safeguard the security of gas supply. Serbia is not mentioned there even though it is a member of the European energy community.

    Despite its current divisions with Moscow, Europe, above all Germany, will eventually be able to secure an unfettered supply of Russian gas with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

    However, this would leave Serbia out in the cold now that the South Stream project has been scrapped.

    Serbian Gas Association president Vojislav Vuletic criticized the European Commission’s decision adding that within the next decade the EU and Serbia would have to rely on Russian gas supplies.

    He dismissed all talk about shale gas supplies from the US as “fairytales” as Serbia simply has no money for that.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Jelica Putnikovic, an expert with Balkan Magazine economic journal, said that the European Commission simply did not care much about Serbia.

    “Brussels keeps saying that all European countries need a unified network against disruptions… They want to have a gas pipeline built between Serbia and Bulgaria, but the Bulgarians have no spare gas to offer us. Secondly, Brussels gives them money to build a pipeline to Greece and to us, while we have to pay for everything out of our own pocket,” Jelica Putnikovic complained.

    He also said that even though Serbia was among the first to join the European Energy Community, it was not viewed as a potential part of the European network with preference given to Bulgaria and Romania.

    “I think this is retaliation for Serbia’s refusal to join the EU’s sanctions against Russia,” Jelica Putnikovic said.

    Alexander Frolov, deputy director of the National Energy Institute in Moscow, said that even though Russia was looking for alternatives to the existing gas transit routes via Ukraine.

    “The gas transit across Ukraine will not go anywhere, at least before 2020, while Russia is looking for new projects, including in the south,” he told Sputnik.

    In his recent report to President Vladimir Putin, Gasprom’s CEO Alexei Miller said that Italy and Greece supported the construction of a pipeline under the Black Sea to pump Russian gas via third countries to Greece and on to Italy.

    Related:

    EU Sees Need for Russian Gas Amid Unreliable Ukraine Transit Route - Lavrov
    Russian, Italian, Greek Companies Sign Deal on Black Sea Gas Supplies to EU
    Tags:
    European Union, transit routes, unified network, European consumers, Russian gas, Gasprom, Russian National Energy Institute, European Energy Community, Serbian Gas Association, Alexei Miller, Alexander Frolov, Jelica Putnikovic, Vojislav Vuletic, Russia, Europe
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