Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the state is looking for alternatives to Russian crude oil supply, which will become unavailable as of 1 November due to EU sanctions.
President Vucic said that Serbia will most likely turn to Iraqi crude oil, but also Azerbaijan in long- term, adding that the authorities will also try to get crude oil from Venezuela.
He said that Serbia plans to import oil from Azerbaijan in 2023 and that the country also wants to buy about 2 million tons of coal from China and Indonesia. Coal-fired power plants produce about 70 % of Serbia’s electricity and there is a sever shortage of coal since last winter. Gas storage facilities are already full to capacity and reserves should last for at least 60 days, Vucic concluded.
In mid-August, Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic said that the sixth package of EU sanctions toward Russia means that it will no longer be possible to buy crude oil from Russia as of 1 November, so Serbian oil company NIS, majority owned by Russians, will have to get oil from other suppliers in the market, as has partially been the case so far.
However, she believes that this will not influence the fuel market in Serbia. After 1 November, it will be possible to get crude oil only from the free market.
NIS receives crude oil through Croatian JANAF oil pipeline and has not been buying Russian oil exclusively, instead also importing crude oil from Iraq and other countries. The overall balance consisted of around 50 % Russian crude oil, 30 % from other suppliers and 20 % local crude oil.