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    People have their photo taken next to the first section of the Gazprom South Stream natural gas pipeline in the town of Sajkas, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013

    Cold Hard Fact: ‘Europe Has No Alternative to Russian Gas’

    © AP Photo / Marko Drobnjakovic
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    Serbia is paying 39 percent less buying natural gas from Russia, Dusan Bajatovic, the head of the country’s state-run gas company Srbijagas, said in an interview on Monday. He also voiced hope for the resumption of the South Stream gas pipeline project.

    In an interview with the Belgrade-based newspaper Danas, Dusan Bajatovic dispelled the myth about Gazprom allegedly selling gas to Russia’s strategic partner at inflated prices.

    “This is a blatant lie… Serbia is paying just $138 for every thousand cubic meters of gas it is getting from Russia,” Bajatovic said.

    This is 39 percent less than the $192 Serbia would have to pay for the same amount of gas from the Austrian hub. Last year Serbia bought 465 million euros’ worth of gas from Russia compared to the 647 million it would have to pay according to the “Austrian tariff.”

    When asked what would happen to these supplies if Gazprom stopped its transit via Ukraine, Dusan Bajatovic said that in this case Serbia could switch to the Nord Stream 1 and eventually to the Nord Stream 2 pipelines.

    “Right now we are negotiating with the Russian side possible deliveries across the Hungarian border. In this case the cost of transit will be higher, that’s why we, together with our strategic partner Gazprom, are looking for alternative routes. We also plan to latch on to the liquefied gas pipeline Gazprom is now laying to Greece via Bulgaria. What I’m saying is that today there is no alternative to Russian gas where it comes to the quantity and reliability of supplies,” Dusan Bajatovic added.

    He also said that with European gas production going down the South Stream project would eventually be revived.

    “By 2035 Europe will need an additional 150 billion cubic meters of gas, which is exactly what Russia is exporting now. This means that twenty years now the Europeans will need an additional 150 billion. I hope that economic considerations will eventually prevail and it won’t be long before the South Stream project of Russian gas supplies to Europe, primarily its southeastern part, is up and running again,” Dusan Bajatovic said in conclusion.

    In late 2014, Moscow announced the cancellation of the South Stream gas pipeline, intended to traverse the Black Sea to deliver Russian natural gas through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to Italy and Austria.

    Following the cancellation, Russia announced plans for the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to replace the South Stream.


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    reliable supplies, strategic partner, gas piplines, lower price, gas deliveries, Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream, South Stream gas pipeline, Srbijagas, Gazprom, Dusan Bajatovic, Serbia
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