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Vucic says hopes Serbia will have lowest price for Russian gas

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday he hopes his country will receive Russian gas at a maximally advantageous price.

"What kind of pressure is Russia exerting on us? It is us to exert pressure on Russia, asking it to give us gas at the most advantageous price. We are asking and using pressure. As for guarantees, I have a promise from [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey [Lavrov] and [Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri] Borisov that they will speak with President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin and will do their best to offer the most advantageous price to us. I am telling you now: I know Putin and we will have the best price. I have not yet spoken with him, I only plan to do it, but we will have the lowest price. I know this man," he said after talks with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"I am thankful to our Russian friends. I asked Minister Lavrov, I asked Borisov, I asked President Putin, and I am not ashamed to say that, and I hope Serbia will have the lowest gas price in Europe. I make no secrete about it, my duty is to advocate the interests of my people. The crisis is much more serious than some may think. Gas prices will go up across entire Europe, everywhere," Vucic said.

"Luckily, we were bold enough to build a gas pipeline. It is good luck! If we had not built the gas pipeline with the Russian side, what would we do now? The only thing I could do then was to take a rope and hang myself here," he said.

Vucic said on Saturday that Serbia was in talks with Russia, seeking to keep the gas price at 270 US dollars per 1,000 cubic meters in the first six months of 2022.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said at a meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Serbia on October 7 that he hoped a long-term gas contract with Serbia would be signed before the end of 2021.

[Source: Tass, Belgrade, 10Oct21]

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