Mining and Energy Minister Zoran Mihajlovic said on Tuesday that Serbia will have to import electricity next winter.
She told reporters that power imports will be inevitable this year with expectations that the national power company (EPS) will recover by 2023 when Serbia will not need to import electricity. The EPS suffered a major breakdown this winter due to low quality coal and other problems.
The minister said that she feels that electricity prices should be raised but refused to say by how much. She added that some 200,000 impoverished households will be granted lower power prices under a government decree.
Mihajlovic said that contact has been made with Russia to discuss natural gas supplies, adding that those talks will take some time. According to the minister, the better option is to keep the current contract with Russia in place instead of signing a new long-term contract. The minister said that gas prices will not remain at present levels.