BELGRADE, December 4 /TASS/. Oil and gas companies remain the flagship in Russian-Serbian cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday after talks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandr Vucic.
"Trade turnover has considerably grown" between the two countries over the last year, Lavrov said. "This year it (trade turnover) has slightly decreased in value terms but the physical volume of our trade turnover continues to grow," the foreign minister added.
"Export of agricultural produce from Serbia to Russia has considerably grown last year, by 70%," Lavrov noted adding that "this tendency continues."
"Russia continues to accumulate investment of our companies in Serbia. They have already reached around $4 billion," he continued. "The flagship of cooperation are oil and gas companies. Our cooperation on gas is multi-faceted, the long-term contract until 2021 is in force. The preferential scheme for gas deliveries is used for Serbian chemical plants," he added.
"Serbian oil industry, with main participation of Gazpromneft, is one of the largest employers and one of the largest tax prayers to the Serbian budget," Lavrov noted.
Serbia is paying its outstanding gas debt to Russia without fail, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said.
"Srbijagaz will pay 20 million euros owed to (Russian) Gazprom Neft before year’s end. Another 6.5 million euros will be paid early next year," Vucic said at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The Serbian prime minister said that Serbia also owed 23 billion dinars (about 200 million euros) to Gazprom Neft’s sister company - NIS. "This sum will be paid by installment by 2018," Vucic stressed.