BELGRADE, October 9. /TASS/. Europe’s gas crisis was triggered by the fact that the European nations had not signed long-term contracts for gas supplies from Russia in due time, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters on Saturday.
"What has pushed the prices up [is], firstly, new carbon duties, secondly, the shortage of gas (as the Chinese redirected all liquefied gas to themselves), thirdly, while exiting the pandemic, most countries provided their industries with gas at the lowest prices to spur economic growth. They were taking gas then, but were not concluding long-term contracts with Russians, as who else you can take gas from, because nobody else has gas. I have already heard idle talk on this subject for ten years, but fortunately, have never listened to it. They failed to sign long-term agreements with Russians and were left without gas, while the gas rates skyrocketed from $400 to $1,800. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin made a statement and the price dropped to $800, but a day later came back to $1,200 per 1,000 cubic meters," Vucic said.
"Those are not normal prices," Vucic said adding that Serbia was currently holding talks with Russia to buy gas at reduced prices.
On October 6, Vucic said that he would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin for help amid the energy crisis. He stressed that Serbia’s decision to build the Balkan Stream pipeline (an extension of TurkStream) was a clever step, as it enabled the country to acquire natural gas at an affordable price.
On October 7, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said in Serbia that Moscow hopes to reach a long-term deal on gas supplies to Serbia by the end of 2021.