A day after Belgrade said the building of a part of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline through Serbia would begin in April, the Energy Community Secretariat said the country did not meet all conditions required by European regulations for the works, the Beta news agency reported on Friday.
The Secretariat director Janez Kopac told the agency that Serbia’s Energy Agency (AERS) adjusted some conditions but not all of them, and especially the part considering the improvement of competition, i.e., liquidity measures.
On Thursday, Serbia's Mining and Energy Minister said the works on Serbia's part of the gas pipeline would begin next month.
“We believe the (AERS) decision as it is violates the Third Package (a legislative package for an internal gas and electricity market in the European Union aiming at further opening up the gas and electricity markets in the block) and its article about the exemption of infrastructure. The Energy Community Secretariat is very clear in its opinion that such a decision does not contribute to the competition at Serbia’s natural gas market unless all conditions are fulfilled,” Kopac said.
AERS was advised to allow access to the gas pipeline to other gas owners and distributors, not only the Russian Gazprom and Serbijagas which would build the part of the Turkish Stream running through Serbia.
“The AERS decision limits the transparency of the procedure in sharing capacities and excludes some existing and potentially new subjects from renting the gas pipeline,” Kopac said.
He added that if Serbia started the construction, the project would not be legitimate.
"The disrespect of the Third Package is a big problem for the European Union. Unfortunately, the AERS decision is final and brought without consultations with us, and is now valid for a very long time. That is not good either for the project or Serbia,” Kopac said.
He added that although the Russian gas had satisfied 40 percent of the European needs, Europe would never allow being dependant on the gas from Russia alone.