EC resumes proceedings against Serbia

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The Secretariat of the Energy Community has resumed the proceedings against Serbia over the agreement with Russia on natural gas deliveries.

The agreement did not comply with the competition acquis, and Serbia now has two months to correct the irregularities, Beta has reported, citing EurActive.

The website learned at the Secretariat of the Energy Community on March 20 that they had not received any response from the Serbian government, to the Opening Letter, by which the preliminary proceedings were initiated.

In the Reasoned Opinion presented to Serbia on March 16, it was stated that the 2012 agreement with Russia stipulated that the delivered gas was intended solely for the Serbian market, which was against the Energy Community’s regulations.

Depending on Serbia’s response, the Secretariat may submit the case to the Ministerial Council, to decide on Serbia’s non-compliance with the Energy Community law, the EC Secretariat stated.

EurActiv was informed at the Secretariat that the final assessment of whether regulations had been violated was up to the Ministerial Council, which also may pronounce sanctions.

The Ministerial Council does not often punish countries for failing to comply with regulations, but sanctions are possible losing the right to vote and to the reimbursement of expenses of the country’s participation in the Energy Community’s activities, while the EU may suspend the financing of energy projects.

The agreement with Russia envisages the delivery of a maximum of five billion cubic meters of gas per year in the period from 2012 to 2021, and its article 4, paragraph 3, which the Energy Community particularly emphasized, stipulates that “the natural gas delivered to the Republic of Serbia on the basis of this agreement is intended for use on the market of the Republic of Serbia.”

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