Serbia secures gas deal with Russia
Amid a spike in global energy prices, Serbia secures a gas deal with Russia to ensure a "safe winter".
Serbia, which has been attempting a careful balancing act between East and West since Moscow's operation in Ukraine, announced on Sunday that it had negotiated a new long-term contract with Russia to assure enough gas supplies next winter.
As global energy costs rise, the specific conditions of the agreement, which will ensure Serbia has "a safe winter in terms of gas supply," will be announced in the coming days, according to President Aleksandar Vucic.
Vucic insisted the contract would give the Balkan country "by far the best terms in Europe."
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"At the moment, this is almost a third of what everyone else in Europe will pay, and in winter it will represent than one-tenth" of what other countries pay, he said.
Serbia is currently nearly entirely dependent on Russian energy sources, importing approximately six million cubic meters of gas each day from the Russian conglomerate Gazprom. Moscow also owns a majority stake in Serbia's oil and gas company, NIS.
However, the agreement comes at a time when the European Union is attempting to lessen its reliance on Russia for energy following Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, and an emergency conference on Monday is slated to debate a possible embargo on Russian oil.
Vucic also stated that he addressed the potential expansion of gas storage facilities in Serbia with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While Serbia has criticized Russia's military operation in Ukraine at the UN, it has refused to participate in the wave of sanctions imposed on Moscow.