MOSCOW, 27 Aug – PRIME. Serbia would not be able to pay for gas and would be bankrupt at current prices of 4,000 euros per 1,000 cubic meters, if it had not started accumulating reserves back in May, said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
The Serbian leader explained in an address to citizens on Saturday that under the current three-year agreement with Gazprom, Belgrade receives about 63% of its needs – 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, for which it pays 800 million euros. The Serbian authorities are forced to buy the missing 1.2 billion cubic meters on the market.
“We previously bought large volumes of gas that we placed in Hungary at much lower prices than today. Calculate at current prices – what we bought at lower prices saved Serbia from bankruptcy,” Vučić said.
“Today’s price, and you cannot buy (gas) for less than 4.3 thousand dollars per thousand cubic meters, taking into account intermediaries and delivery, but we will calculate for 4 thousand euros. Then for us 1.2 billion cubic meters would cost 4.8 billion euros. And the entire Serbian budget, people, is 13.5 billion euros. Do you understand that this means bankruptcy? Fortunately, we have been stockpiling at different prices since May,” the President of Serbia said.
Vučić said on August 8 that Serbia had reached a historical maximum in terms of natural gas reserves within the country and on the territory of Hungary – at that time 262 million cubic meters of gas in the Serbian part of the Banatski Dvor underground storage, and another 200 million cubic meters in Hungary.
The Serbian leader announced at the end of July that the country’s authorities, due to the global crisis and its impact on energy and food supply, are actually introducing a state of emergency from August 1 to March 31.