The new EU Council sanctions in the energy sector prohibit the import of oil and chemicals to Serbia for its processing, since the Serbian Oil Industry (NIS) and the Pancevo oil refinery (refinery) are owned by the state and Russia’s Gazprom Neft. This was announced on Saturday, March 19, by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
“The decision of the EU Council is very difficult for us, strange, we are looking for ways out. Today, people from my office held a video conference with partners from the EU. And this does not only apply to oil imports, we do not have our own oil … This also applies to the supply of chemicals that are needed for the oil refinery. We no longer have the right to do this, because the company (NIS, 65.15% owned by Gazprom Neft – Ed.) is predominantly Russian-owned, ”he said on air TV PRVA.
The Serbian leader also clarified that now it is necessary to understand whether the country will be able to obtain chemicals that are used in refineries.
“In 2008, we sold NIS to Gazprom Neft, which is state-owned. We import crude oil, out of 20 thousand tons we produce 10 thousand tons of diesel, 3.7 thousand tons of gasoline, but this requires spare parts, chemicals, and by this decision of the EU Council we will not be able to import them, perhaps from May 15,” Vučić explained.
Earlier, on March 16, the President of Serbia said that sanctions against the energy sector of Russia do not hit the interests of the Russian Federation or the European Union, but Serbia, where the oil infrastructure belongs to the state and the Russian company Gazprom Neft.
On March 10, Reuters, referring to the draft declaration of the EU summit in Versailles, reported that the alliance would gradually stop buying energy resources from Russia. There are no exact dates for possible withdrawal. Some EU countries are asking to do so from 2030, others from 2027, and still others want to opt out now. To implement this initiative, the consent of all 27 member states of the association is required.
The State Duma Energy Committee believes that the EU is disingenuous when it talks about the possibility of reducing the consumption of Russian gas and oil and the rejection of Russian energy sources.
On March 8, Washington banned oil imports from Russia. On March 11, Canada took similar measures. Against the backdrop of sanctions imposed against Russia in Western countries, energy prices are rising at a record high.
Sanctions were imposed by a number of Western countries after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of an operation to protect the civilian population in Donbass on February 24. A few days earlier, the situation in the region escalated due to shelling by the Ukrainian military. The authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of residents to Russian territory, and also turned to Moscow for help. On February 21, Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of the DNR and LNR.
For more up-to-date videos and details about the situation in Donbass, watch the Izvestia TV channel.
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