The new energy sanctions of the E.U. Council prohibits the import of oil and chemicals to Serbia for its processing since the state and the Russian Gazprom Neft jointly own the Serbian Oil Industry (NIS), and the Pancevo refinery, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on TV PRVA.
On Wednesday, Vučić said that the E.U. Council’s new measures regarding the Russian Federation’s energy sector are not hurting the interests of Russia or the European Union, but Serbia.
“The decision of the E.U. Council is very difficult for us, strange. We are looking for ways out. Today, people from my office held a video conference with partners from the E.U. And this does not only apply to oil imports. We do not have our own oil … This also applies to the supply of chemicals that are needed for an oil refinery (Pancevo Refinery – ed.). We no longer have the right to do this because the company (NIS, 65.15% owned by Gazprom Neft – ed.) is predominantly Russian-owned,” said Vučić.
As per the Serbian leader, the Europeans left themselves the opportunity to work with Gazprom Neft on their territory import from Russia, but third countries where Russians own oil refineries or companies will not be able to export and import oil.
“We must deal with whether we will have chemicals that we use in the refinery since its majority owner is Russia. In 2008, we sold NIS to Gazprom Neft, which is state-owned. We import crude oil, from 20 thousand tons, we produce 10 thousand tons of diesel, 3.7 thousand tons of gasoline, but this requires spare parts, chemicals, and according to this decision of the E.U. Council, we will not be able to import them, perhaps as early as May 15,” the Serbian president specified.
The Serbian authorities are still trying to fill all the storage facilities in the country with oil, he said.
E.U. double standards in Kosovo and Ukraine
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic condemned the West’s double standards in matters of Kosovo and Ukraine. He spoke about different interpretations of the principle of territorial integrity and pressure on Belgrade to impose sanctions against Russia.
“They tell us about the territorial integrity of Ukraine; they show us empty baby strollers. Why didn’t they show us empty baby strollers here? Things are mixed up in our heads: observance of the principle of international law, where, no doubt, who violated it and who is the victim, and then, who was the victim, and who violated international law and, without the decision of the U.N. Security Council, made tough decisions to the detriment of Serbia. Therefore, we are in a difficult situation,” Vučić said.
He said that there were no hostile actions from Moscow.
“On the other hand, Russia has never imposed sanctions against us … We can say that they occupied and then left the airfield in Pristina. But in the last ten years, on foreign policy issues, the Russian Federation has not been against Serbia. And they (the West) put us in a position in which we will lose the only ally in the U.N. Security Council, who has always been for maintaining the territorial integrity of Serbia and Resolution 1244. You dare not forget such things, and what decision should Serbia make?” Vučić asked.
Vučić said that during negotiations with Western partners, he promised that Belgrade would maintain peace in the region and not interfere in events in Ukraine. Vučić stressed that he did not make any promises to the West regarding sanctions against the Russian Federation.