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Serb govt adopts EU, Russian energy deals

Government

Ratification of the Russian energy deal could see the sale of a 51% stake in Serbia’s oil monopoly NIS to Russia’s Gazprom be completed as early as August.

Serbia’s new government has adopted a key EU pre-membership agreement and a Russian energy deal and sent them for ratification by parliament. In its second meeting after being voted in on Monday, the cabinet headed by Mirko Cvetkovic, in fact confirmed the two acts in the same form in which they were passed by the former government, two days ahead of the May 11 general elections. The parliament speaker, Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, has said the deals could be ratified by the middle of next week.

Serbia signed the key EU deal known as the Stabilization and Association Agreement, at the end of April and now has to be ratified by Parliament. Ratification of the Russian energy deal could see the sale of a 51% stake in Serbia’s oil monopoly NIS to Russia’s Gazprom be completed as early as August.

Earlier this year Gazprom offered €400 million for NIS’s two refineries in the northern cities of Pancevo and Novi Sad and a network of fuel stations throughout the country and another €500 million for the overhaul of NIS production facilities. Russia also pledged it will develop a part of the South Stream pipeline that will carry its natural gas via Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia onwards to western European markets. The total value of the gas deal which should be completed by 2013 was estimated at €1.2 billion.

On Tuesday, Cvetkovic’s cabinet withdrew for reconsideration all the draft laws the previous government adopted ahead of the general elections. The new government can either send them to the parliament in the same or revised form. Ahead of the meeting, Snezana Malovic, the Justice Minister, said the government would soon send to parliament the draft laws on judicial reform which have already been adjusted to European Union standards. (BIRN)

 

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