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Serbia saves about 1 bln euros thanks to favorable price on Russian gas — president

Aleksandar Vucic promised that further work will be continued and the country will have the lowest price in Europe

BELGRADE, November 29. /TASS/. Serbia has managed to save at least 1 bln euro thanks to the favorable gas price set by Russia during the negotiations, which took place on November 25 in Sochi, President Aleksandar Vucic told the national Pink TV channel.

"We agreed [during the meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin] on a formula, which did not always look as attractive as today," the Serbian president said. "This is a formula that, with an oil price of $82-83 per barrel, allows you to pay about $270-275 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, so it is currently profitable. <...> I promise that we will continue further work and have the lowest price in Europe, except for the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries," according to Vucic. "We have managed to do that, the savings for all Serbian citizens amounted not to 300 mln, they reached at least 1 bln euros, including all foreign exchange transactions, <…> this is a huge saving," the head of state stressed.

"I am proud of our country, of the fact that over the past period, we have built the main gas pipeline [Balkan Stream], which is 402 kilometers long. When you have a gas pipeline, you can talk about a different price. I am infinitely grateful to President Putin that he respects Serbia’s interests and has provided us with such a price for six months, since it is challenging to set a similar price for a longer period <…>," Vucic said.

"And at the end of six month, I will pay another working visit [to Russia]. These issues cannot be addressed by phone, my previous conversation with Putin lasted three hours. And we [were provided with such a low gas price] not because that we had to purchase weapons. No, we purchase Russian weapons of our own accord, because we want to be strong, not because someone forces us to buy them," the Serbian leader noted.

Following the talks held in Sochi on November 25, Russia kept the gas price for Serbia at $270 for six months, then Belgrade will receive favorable conditions under a long-term contract. Vucic praised these conditions as "exceptional.".