Serbia: Political landscape of South Stream project, who is who in the flow chart

8. November 2013. / News Serbia Energy

Criticism by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic that he stated in Moscow at the expense of the Serbian government completely shocked the public in Serbia. In truth, in the world is not uncommon that state’s president thinks differently from the government on some issues, but it is highly unusual that he “shares slapped” to his ministers abroad. Also, a complete oddity is that the state’s president criticizes the government, even a coalition, in which the main role has his party.

While those circles who believe in diversity within  Serbian Progressive Party criticism Nikolic’s more sent to speculate in this direction, the general public is still more interested what specifically the president criticized in the cabinet of Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, in which the dominant role has Aleksandar Vucic, leader of the Progressive Party, and the first Deputy Prime Minister.

The Serbian President was very clear in a meeting with Vladimir Putin; I do not see what I can further explain. Serbia’s interest is that works on the South Stream start as soon as possible. The Serbian government has already declared on this issues and no individual is above that – evaluates in the statement for “Danas” Stanislava Pak, adviser to the President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic. She commented on a Nikolic statement that “relations between Serbia and Russia are developing well, but that there are problems with the Serbian side that need to be solved”. In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow he said that the problems ” are coming sometimes because of lack of resourcefulness and sometimes because the members of the government in Belgrade are not enough careful in making decisions”. On the question on what individuals he refers, and why, if all is fine, the president criticizes the government of another country, Stanislava Pak replies: “Who said that everything is fine? There are certain obstacles for the works start on the South Stream and it should be worked intensively to ensure that they be removed “. Asked to specify who were those individuals in the question and who was working on the project prevention, advisor of Serbian President did not respond.

However, as “Danas” finds out from source who is very familiar with developments in the energy sector, and who wished to remain anonymous, Nikolic’s criticism of the government accompanied a complaint by the Russian side who was unhappy over alleged “obstruction” of the South Stream construction, namely that the Russian capital was not welcome in Serbia.

– Russians are disturbed because unresolved property-law issues in Vojvodina darn the process of the South Stream building through Serbia. However, this is something that our country cannot solve. Moscow also does not like that Minister of Energy Zorana Mihajlovic insists that Jugorosgas, a company in which the Russians have a majority capital, should not be a mediator in gas imports to Serbia. The Russian side intends to build gas power plant in Serbia from money received from intermediaries, which would increase the energy independence of the country. When the Russians took over Jugorosgas, the company was in debt, and that was the reason why Moscow sought agency in gas import – says our source.

Supposedly the stumbling block is also desire of Minister Mihajlovic to include the EBRD in the construction of the South Stream pipeline, which could also seek gas stocks. Our source claims that the Russian side sees it as “the partner imposing”, that she does not need. “The Russians have already chosen their partners on the European side, and these are the companies from Italy, Germany and France, so that EBRD does not need for the project”, says our source.

It is claimed that Moscow has no understanding also for the statements of Minister Mihajlovic regarding construction of the pipeline Nis – Sofia. Minister of Energy, speaking about the pipeline importance, indicated that Serbia received gas from only one direction, from Russia via Hungary, which showed its energy dependence. In the pro-Russian circles that statement is characterized as “sabotage of the South Stream “. As a reminder, the Serbian media had previously said that Zorana Mihajlovic, who sharply criticizes everything in the energy sector, which is considered contrary to the Serbia interests, was not adequately to the Russian also because her criticism of Dusan Bajatovic , Srbijagas Director ,who is considered as  a man of great confidence in Moscow . Our source does not believe that anything could endanger the construction of a gas pipeline through Serbia.

– South Stream will be built because it is the Russians desire and because Europe needs it. It is a joint Russian- European project and three companies from the European Union are involved in its construction. The fact is that the South Stream construction only, globally speaking, does not correspond to the United States. In this context it should be understood also the statements from the Russian side that some political forces in Serbia, close to Washington’s position do not look happy in the presence of Russian capital in the country, mainly in NIS – says our source.

Djukov: Serbia obtained a reliable partner in Gazprom Neft

Belgrade – Chairman of the Executive Board of Gazprom Neft Aleksandar Djukov said yesterday in Belgrade that Serbia obtained a reliable partner in the Russian company for the energy sector development. According to the announcement of Petroleum Industry of Serbia Djukov said it in a discussion with the president of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, with whom he discussed on the NIS development, which the largest shareholders are Gazprom Neft and the Serbian government. “We appreciate the constructive cooperation with our Serbian partners and our joint work brings good results. Compared with the 2009th NIS production increased twice, the volume of pores was doubled.

Source; Serbia Energy See desk/GOV agencies

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