South Stream games in Serbia: Gazprom, Srbijagas, EBRD and Energy ministry within the framework of announced Srbijagas company restructuring plan

23. May 2013. / News Serbia Energy

Although there are no official confirmations from Belgrade or Moscow, rumors that Russian side does not approve reorganization plan of Public Company Srbijagas suggested by Ministry of Energy are completely true.

If Moscow consider Dusan Bajatovic as a man “on the same level” for “South Stream” construction, support from Russian side is more a consequence of mistrust to the Minister of Energy, Zorana Mihajlovic.

As Danas was informed by sources that wanted to remain anonymous, Moscow’s suspicion toward Minister Mihajlovic dates from the period she criticized an agreement Serbia made with Russia for construction of “South Stream”. She stressed that we had signed very bad agreement and that Serbian negotiation side did its job badly because other states that had negotiated with Russians on same occasion got much more. Although, Minister didn’t dispute construction of “South Stream” as useful for Serbia, she directed the blade of her criticisms to the government and state’s top which was lead by DS. Moscow obviously didn’t observe this kind of estimations as merciful- our interlocutor concludes. On the other side, Bajatovic has servile relation toward Russians and full consensus was achieved with him for the construction of South Stream. Russia has never forgotten this fact an now Russia support his side in conflict with Minister Mihajlovic about reorganization of Srbijagas.

This support was expressed in several occasions. For example, Aleksey Miller, President of Gasprom’s Managing Board, expressed concern during one visit to Serbia “because individuals from Serbian side are trying to obstruct construction of South Stream”. Information that Russian top supposedly had asked from Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and the Deputy President Aleksandar Vucic not to let Srbijagas reorganization according to Energy Ministry’s model has occurred recently. Although Russians are not interested in technique of Srbijagas reorganization, they don’t like ingeneration over South Stream is replaced to the company under Bajatovic’s control and this exactly is the plan of Energy Ministry. Russians don’t like that in the case Serbian Government approves plan proposed by Energy Ministry, EBRD will involve in the whole process and it can ask “South Stream” shares. Moscow sees this as imposition of partner from Europe it didn’t chose to pick up the cream when everything is over i.e. when Russian side has already provided financial part of the business.

Source;Serbia Energy/ Danas

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