After Croatia said it would not allow the transport of Russian oil by its oil pipeline operator JANAF as part of the EU sanctions, Serbia has decided to build an oil pipeline with Hungary and diversify its energy suppliers and routes, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday.
„Croatia has proved to be an unreliable supplier, and we understood its message,“ Vucic said in his address to the nation.
Diversification of sources and transport routes would include the construction of a 128-km-long oil pipeline from Novi Sad to Hungary, where it would be connected to the pipeline operated by JANAF, Vucic said, adding that this would ensure a greater choice of types of oil and suppliers.
The construction of the oil pipeline, which will partly run along the gas pipeline route to Hungary, will cost around €100 million. Over the next six years €12 billion will be invested in infrastructure, as energy is „the bloodstream of a country“, the Serbian president said.
This strategic plan also includes the construction of an additional oil pipeline via North Macedonia to the Albanian Adriatic port city of Durrës, and another oil refinery to refine oil from Venezuela, Iran and other producers. The construction of additional gas interconnectors, including those towards Romania and Azerbaijan, is also planned.
Vucic said that in the event of an extreme situation Serbia currently had diesel reserves to last 75 days, petrol reserves for 59 days, and an additional 200,000 tonnes of oil for refining.
Vucic’s address to the nation focused on seven areas, including Kosovo, energy, finance and public debt, and food. He said in his opening remarks that there was no will in the Serbian leadership to accept the independence of Kosovo and Kosovo’s membership of the United Nations, noting that Serbia would come under pressure from Western countries in that regard.