Natural gas and Energy Community: Proceedings against Serbia continue

The Secretariat of the Energy Community has said that it is continuing proceedings against Serbia on the account of its natural gas agreement with Russia which goes against fair competition rules. The Secretariat has also given Serbia two months to correct the irregularities in the agreement.


The Secretariat has sent an official notice to Serbia on 16th March which reads that the gas agreement in Russia, from 2012, stipulates that the gas delivered under that agreement was solely for the Serbian market which is against the Energy Community’s regulation.


“Depending on Serbia’s answer to our notice, the Secretariat can file a case at the Ministerial Council on the account of Serbia failing to comply with the Energy Community’s rules”, the Secretariat goes on to say.


The Ministerial Council is usually reluctant to penalize countries, but could impose certain sanctions like taking away the right to vote from Serbia or not funding the country’s participating in the activities of the Energy Community. Also, there is a possibility of the EU suspending its funding for energy projects in Serbia.


The preliminary proceedings were instigated on 12th January when the Energy Community sent a letter to Serbia asking the country to react to the failure to comply with the EU regulation. Serbian Ministry of Energy answered that they would submit their answer in a timely manner.


The gas agreement between Serbia and Russia stipulate that Russia should deliver up to 5 billion cubic metres of gas annually in the period from 2012 to 2021. The third paragraph of the Article 4 in this agreement, to which the Energy Community objects, says: “The natural gas that is delivered to the Republic of Serbia based on this agreement is intended to be used on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.”


Deputy director of the Secretariat of the Energy Community, Dirk Buschle said earlier that the clauses like the one in the gas agreement were “a remnant from the past times when the dominant suppliers could partition the European gas market as they pleased” adding that these clauses were not used any more in the rest of Europe.


(Nova Ekonomija, 20.03.2017)


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