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Serbian president highlights progress in economic ties between Moscow and Belgrade

February 22, 3:10 UTC+3 BELGRADE

The Serbian leader noted the special importance of energy in the relations between the two countries

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BELGRADE, February 22. /TASS/. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has pointed to progress achieved in the Russian-Serbian economic relations, specifically in the energy sphere. Vucic said this on Wednesday during a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"The economic relations between our countries show growth, despite the fact that we use different statistical measurement systems. The trade is on a sharp rise. Our trade turnover in 2000 exceeded $2.6 bln, an increase of 25.2% compared to 2016," Vucic said after his talks with the Russian Foreign Minister.

The Serbian leader noted the special importance of energy in the relations between the two countries. "As for energy, I will not even talks about the significance of Naftna Industrija Srbije, but I would like to note the progress in the energy sector, which is of great importance for our country," Vucic added.

Energy is one of the important areas of cooperation between Belgrade and Moscow. In 2008, Russia and Serbia signed an intergovernmental agreement under which the Russian company Gazprom Neft acquired a 51% stake in the Serbian company Naftna Industrija Srbij for 400 mln euro. In addition, Gazprom Neft has pledged to invest another 500 mln euro in the company. Currently Naftna Industrija Srbij provides 85% of the Serbian market of petroleum products.

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