BELGRADE – The Serbian government and Chinese company He Steel will sign a sales contract for Serbia’s sole steel mill Zelezara Smederevo on April 18, if the European Commission gives the go-ahead for the privatization, Serbian government sources told Tanjug.

In the next several days, the European Commission is expected to give its opinion whether the prepared contract is in line with EU regulations.

On April 5, the Serbian government accepted the Chinese company’s offer for buying 98 property units of Zelezara Smederevo for EUR 46 million, and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said he expected Brussels to support the move.

He explained that Brussels would like states not to subsidize steel mills because of the challenges facing the EU steel market, as some countries had done it, thus violating the regulations.

Brussels also demands guarantees that He Steel, if it purchases the steel mill, will export to the European market only products manufactured in this factory, as well as proofs that the state has not subsidized the factory since February 2015, when the new EU rules on state aid to the industry took effect.