In Sochi, Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, the Kremlin web page reports. The talks were followed by a news conference at which Putin noted that “Russian-Serbian economic cooperation has reached a good level. In 2018, bilateral trade reached $2.1 bln. In January-September 2019, it rose by another 9.5%. Russian investment in the Serbian economy exceeds $4 bln. The list of the largest investors includes Gazprom Neft, which has invested about $3 bln in its subsidiary, Naftna Industrija Srbije, and intends to invest another $1.4 bln until 2025.”
“Russia is the largest gas supplier to Serbia. The volume of gas exports to Serbian consumers exceeded 2.5 bln cubic meters last year,” he said. “Serbia is now taking part in the construction of a gas transit system that extends the TurkStream as a surface level pipeline in southern Europe. The pipe laying in Serbia will be completed in the next few weeks. It was agreed to increase the capacity of underground gas storage in Serbia from 750 mio cubic meters to 2 bln cubic meters. The implementation of these large-scale energy projects will help to significantly strengthen energy security not only in Serbia but also for the entire Balkan region and Europe as a whole.”
According to the President, “Russian companies are contributing to the development of transport infrastructure in Serbia. In particular, Russian Railways is helping upgrade Serbian railways and is creating an up-to-date operating centre, which will allow a significant increase in speed and efficiency of rail transport. Russia offers assistance with upgrading aircraft fleet of Air Serbia, Serbia’s national airline.”
He also mentioned Sberbank and the SOGAZ insurance company which have successful operations in Serbia and provide a wide range of financial services to individuals and legal entities as well as support for Russian and Serbian energy and transport enterprises.