Konuzin: Serbia may become big energy exporter2. November 2011. / Uncategorized
Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Belgrade Aleksandr Konuzin said that Serbia has a chance to become a large energy exporter in the Western Balkans and outside the region, and agreed that the strengthening of economic cooperation between Serbia and Russia brings Serbia closer to the European Union.
Besides the construction of the main pipeline South Stream running through Serbia, Russia is also interested in cooperation in other fields of energy, which could put Serbia in a position to become a large exporter, Konuzin said at a meeting of the Serbian Lobbyist Association late Monday.
Commenting that big western companies are interested in realization of projects in Serbia, which Russia could support with its investments, Konuzin added that this is the chance for Serbia to take a step closer to both Russia and the EU. He also said that Serbia has to promote regional cooperation, since it is behind, for example, Slovenia, which realized its importance and is advancing cooperation between different regions more and more.
Konuzin noted that, in the past few years, trade between the two countries, and especially export from Serbia to Russia increased significantly.
President of the ABS Elektro company, Nenad Popovic, who has been working on the Russian market for a number of years, also said that cooperation with Russia brings Serbia closer to the EU, and added that if Serbia increased trade with the Russian market by two or three times, it would have much more developed relationships with the EU.
He specified that Serbia uses below five percent of the Free Trade Agreement with Russia, which is insufficient. According to the agreement, Serbia has at its disposal a huge market of about 250 million consumers, which, besides Russia, includes Kazakhstan and Belarus, and as of 2014 it will comprise Ukraine as well, which is practically the territory of the former Soviet Union.
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