Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 29 November 2021
Russia Wins New Ally, Promising Cheap Gas
Russia uses gas supplies as a tool for pursuing its international policy. By offering cheaper energy, Moscow is expecting its customers to remain political friends, as was the case of Hungary, and now Serbia. The Kremlin is trying to lure other countries, including Moldova and Bulgaria.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on November 25 after a meeting with Vladimir Putin they had agreed on the price of gas for Serbia. The country will continue to pay $270 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas for the next six months. The Russia-Serbia gas deal is set to expire later this year. Vucic explained that Belgrade could not hold the first price proposal, which stood at $780– 790 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. It was just an introduction to further negotiations. Belgrade will buy cheaper gas for some political concessions. What does Moscow expect from Serbia? A hint might be that while in Sochi, the leaders of Russia and Serbia discussed military cooperation. “We regularly hold joint drills, develop interaction along the lines of power structures, defense ministries, general staff,” the Russian head of state said. The representatives of Serbia’s military are being trained at Russian universities. Russia signed some deals to deliver pieces of military equipment to Serbia. In exchange for friendly gas prices, the Kremlin might have asked Serbia to tighten military cooperation. Thus, Serbia will continue to sail away from its prospective NATO membership. Even if a pro-Western party won democratic elections in Serbia, it would find it difficult to get out of a network of Serbia-Russia interdependency. Vucic is seeking to conclude the 10-year deal with Russia’s Gazprom as soon as possible. The six-month scheme indicates that Moscow is keen on a more comprehensible set of concessions from Belgrade. They could both refer to security and the country’s pursuits to become closer to the European Union before officially joining it.
If content prepared by Warsaw Institute team is useful for you, please support our actions. Donations from private persons are necessary for the continuation of our mission.
All texts published by the Warsaw Institute Foundation may be disseminated on the condition that their origin is credited. Images may not be used without permission.