Natural gas: Serbia-Russia gas deal could be amended

Amending the Serbian-Russian natural gas deal to reflect European regulations should not be an issue as Russia is already adjusting its business across Europe to those rules, EurActiv learned from the Energy Community’s secretariat on 13th January.

“A request to negotiate changes to the agreement would not be a surprise and could be accommodated. There is no reason to believe that the request would be turned down,” secretariat deputy director, Dirk Buschle said about the preliminary procedure mounted against Serbia over one paragraph of the agreement on natural gas supply between Serbia and Russia. He added that the secretariat was willing to support the government in negotiations.

On 12th January, the Energy Community launched preliminary proceedings against Serbia over the deal clashing with the Energy Community rules. Serbia was given two months to respond to the allegations.

The Serbian Ministry of Mining and Energy announced on 13th January that it would, “in cooperation with all relevant institutions of the Republic of Serbia, in the cited deadline, consider the allegations in detail and submit its response to the Energy Community secretariat in a timely manner.”

The procedure cites paragraph 3 of article 4 of the deal on natural gas supplies from Russia to Serbia, which reads that “the natural gas delivered to the Republic of Serbia based on this agreement is for use on the market of the Republic of Serbia.” Buschle stressed that the Energy Community considered this paragraph a clause of destination, the purpose of which is to limit the importer’s activity to one territory, averting competition.

(Beta, 15.01.2017)

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