Daily: Russia cuts gas deliveries over unpaid debt

BELGRADE -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to cut gas deliveries to Serbia by 28 percent, writes the Belgrade-based daily Danas.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

The newspaper is quoting unnamed sources to report that Putin made the decision dissatisfied with the outcome of his recent visit to Belgrade, when Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić "refused to sign a protocol on the payment of Serbia's debt for Russian gas by March 2015, in the amount of approximately USD 200 million."

According to the same sources, he "refused to sign guarantees that Serbia will repay the debt by March," while his argument was that he "believed Putin's request was inappropriate and unfair - given the fact that Russia is already making a huge profit in Serbia via NIS."

The daily writes that Vučić informed his government "of all this" during its last session. According to the sources Vučić was "angry because of Putin's demands that Serbia repays USD 200 million by March 2015." He was also "very disappointed with Putin's decision to cut gas deliveries to Serbia."

The newspaper writes that Energy Minister Aleksandar Antić "should write a letter of protest to the Russian company in charge of gas supplies."

In August, the Ministry of Interior set up a working group to review of the sale of the Oil Industry of Serbia (NIS) to the Russian company Gazprom Neft.

NIS was privatized in December 2008 as part of a package of energy agreements between Serbia and Russia, which was concluded during the government of Vojislav Koštunica, the daily noted.