After the idea of Russian President Vladimir Putin that the hub of supplying Europe with Russian gas should become Turkey, the pro-government media in Serbia reported that our country would profit from it, however, the expert public points out that there is currently no possibility for this, i.e. that it is necessary to expand the capacity of the “Turkey Stream” gas pipeline to it would come true.
Given that Serbia is already supplied with Russian gas via Turkey through the “Turkey Stream” gas pipeline in Europe, i.e. the “Balkan Stream”, as it is also called in our country, analysts sympathetic to the current authorities in Serbia are already talking about how this will result in a large aims to profit our country, by making money from the collection of transit fees for gas that will go to other countries in Europe.
Namely, the capacity of the “Balkan Stream” through which Russian gas reaches Serbia from Turkey via Bulgaria amounts to 15.7 billion cubic meters of gas per year. While, this spring, Moscow did not stop supplying Sofia with natural gas because it refused to pay for it in rubles, as the Russian side requested, that country took close to three billion cubic meters of gas from Russia.
Serbia receives about 2.2 billion cubic meters of gas, Hungary about three billion and Croatia one billion cubic meters of gas through the “Balkan stream”. These data clearly show that the remaining quantities allowed by the capacity are too small to be able to provide even close to sufficient quantities of “blue energy” needed by EU countries, which are large consumers.
In other words, without expanding the capacity of “Turkish Stream 2” in Europe, i.e. the “Balkan Stream”, Serbia cannot realize any benefits from Moscow and Ankara agreeing on Turkey becoming the largest hub for supplying consumers in the European Union.
Also, it should be emphasized that Moscow and Ankara agreed to lead a dialogue on the implementation of the gas hub construction project in Turkey, but did not reach an agreement to actually implement that work. So, everything about him is still “on a long stick”.
Economist Milan R. Kovačević tells Danas that in the conditions in which the European Union wants to end dependence on Russian gas and is introducing a series of sanctions to the country’s energy sector due to the war in Ukraine, the capacity of the “Balkan Stream” is not large and the supply of our country with Russian gas depends from Bulgaria, which no longer imports it, it is not realistic to talk about the construction of a gas plant in Turkey representing any chance for Serbia.
– A particularly aggravating factor is that Sofia no longer receives gas from Moscow. And Russian gas cannot reach Serbia without crossing the territory of that neighboring country. The quantities that now flow through the gas pipeline through our country are intended to meet the capacity of its and consumers in some other surrounding countries. However, the total capacity is very small and cannot meet the needs of consumers in the European Union. There is gas in it for Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, there will also be gas for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that’s all. The remaining capacity is very small to meet the needs of users in the European Union – says our interlocutor.
He adds that the situation would change significantly if another branch of that gas pipeline were built, and that in that case and if there is political will for EU countries to buy Russian gas, Serbia could profit as a country that would charge a tax for transporting gas through its territory.
The General Secretary of the Serbian Gas Association, Vojislav Vuletić, also believes that the construction of a gas hub in Turkey is not something that Serbia can benefit from right now.