Photo: Predrag Trokicic
Photo: Predrag Trokicic

“This is of crucial importance for the future development of Serbia. This is incredibly important for us, our industry and development of our economy, as well as for all our citizens.” No, these aren’t the words of Aleksandar Vucic after his meeting with Vladimir Putin held on November 25th. This is what he said less than a year ago, on January 1st 2021 at the opening of the Balkan Stream pipeline.

What was all that excitement about? It was about, he explained, the fact that, from that point on, Serbia would be paying half of what it had been paying for gas until then. 1,000 cubic meters of gas coming to Serbia via Ukraine and Hungary costs $270 and now, with the new pipeline via Turkey and Bulgaria, the price would be reduced to $155.

So, this new/old price of $270 is, actually, almost double what was promised. Or the president lied to us when he said that the price would be $155.

But, why did Vucic go to Russia to negotiate gas prices from January 1st 2022 in the first place when the current contract between Serbia and Russia is valid until January 1st 2023? In 2013, Serbia and Russia signed a ten-year contract on sale of gas which, of course, set the price. The question now is why the duration of the contract is being shortened by one year? Actually, is it even being shortened? Or is this whole story about a new contract, about the price and Putin’s great favor to Vucic and Serbia, actually just one big pre-election marketing farce?

This is definitely a scam, but that is not even the worst part. In this whole story, gas is a lot less important than other things at play. Things like weapons, nuclear technology and geostrategic position.

Vucic’s flamboyant trip to Sochi actually puts Serbia one step closer to Russia and further from the EU. One step, but a very big one. And there’s no way to hide this anymore.

Translated by Marijana Simic

Peščanik.net, 04.12.2021.


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Mijat Lakićević, rođen 1953. u Zaječaru, završio pravni fakultet u Beogradu 1975, od 1977. novinar Ekonomske politike. Devedesetih i stalni saradnik mesečnika Demokratija danas. Godine 1998. dobija otkaz u Ekonomskoj politici; 1999. je među pokretačima Ekonomist magazina, gde je direktor i zamenik gl. i odg. urednika, a od 2001. gl. i odg. urednik; 2008. napušta EM sa Vladimirom Gligorovim, Predragom Koraksićem... Prelazi u Blic, gde je gl. ur. ekonomskog dodatka Novac. Krajem 2009. prelazi u NIN na mesto urednika ekonomske rubrike. Godine 2011. je među osnivačima nedeljnika Novi magazin, gde je i danas zamenik gl. urednika. Pisao za brojne novine u Jugoslaviji i Srbiji. Zajedno sa Mišom Brkićem urednik serije od 12 TV debata pod zajedničkim nazivom „Kad kažete…“ Fonda za otvoreno društvo, u Medija centru NUNS-a, prikazivanih na TV Studio B. Godine 2011. objavio knjigu Ispred vremena, o nedeljniku Ekonomska politika i reformskoj deceniji u SFR Jugoslaviji (1963-1973). Sa Dimitrijem Boarovim 2013. napisao knjigu Kako smo izgubili (Našu) Borbu. Jedan od autora izložbe "Polet: Ekonomska propaganda u Jugoslaviji 1969-1980". Član Izvršnog odbora NUNS-a.

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