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Serbia to start negotiating gas contract with Russia in coming days, says Vucic

The talks between Belgrade and Moscow on a new long-term gas contract will begin in coming days, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said, addressing journalists in Berlin after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Thursday.

“What diversification are we talking about? Only in two years will we get the completed [interconnector], the possibility for something to be supplied to Serbia from somewhere, but the question is what will be supplied, we are building the Bulgarian interconnector from our side, the Bulgarians will only announce the tender in coming days, after which it will take at least 300 days to get it constructed,” according to the address broadcast by the Tanjug agency.

“Germany depends on the Russian gas by 55%, while we – by 100% like many other countries. Energy resources are becoming a huge problem for us, we are about to start negotiating the gas price and everything else with the Russians, after May 10,” Vucic said, adding that Russian oil accounted for over 60% of the republic’s crude imports over the past month.

Earlier, the Serbian leader said the country’s economy fully depended on Russian gas, which is why Belgrade hoped to get a good price at the upcoming gas talks with Moscow. He also stressed that Belgrade had no alternative to natural gas from Russia. With the long-term agreement on Russian hydrocarbon supplies expiring on May 31, 2022, the republic wanted to sign a new long-term contract, Vucic noted.

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