Serbia’s energy sector is heavily reliant on Russian influence. On the other hand, Serbia’s status as a candidate country for joining the European Union (EU) membership requires active working toward diversifying energy sources of supply. In the past decade, Serbia has secured a reduced price for natural gas through a bilateral agreement with Russia, addressing the shortfall in its domestic production. The former agreement priced Russian gas at US$270 per thousand cubic meters and expired in 2021. The new deal links gas prices to crude oil and ranges between US $310 and US$408, maintaining its competitive position as one of Europe’s lowest import prices. Furthermore, alongside the new gas pipeline for Russian gas exports, the EU is funding the construction of a new interconnector, both with entry points from Bulgaria. Serbia also faces significant dependence on crude oil, and this reliance is compounded by the inability to import it from Russia any longer. Opposite, Serbia is usually self-sufficient in electricity production which still remains under state ownership. The domestic exploration and processing of oil and gas, as well as the sole underground gas storage facility in Serbia, have partial ownership by Russian Gazprom while the transportation of gas is under the full control of the Serbian government. This Communication about the energy situation in the Republic of Serbia put particular emphasis on the evolving political dynamics in the global energy market with a specific focus on the Russia– Ukraine war. The topic is also linked to the contentious status of the southern Serbian autonomous province, recognized as an independent state by the majority of Western nations but not by Serbia. It is feared that Serbia’s energy dependence on Russia could have significant ramifications for its EU candidacy.

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Published on 01/01/2024

DOI: 10.1177/01445987231215445
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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