December 18, 2017 / 3:20 PM / a year ago

Russia lifts gas re-export ban for Serbia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has dropped the requirement for Serbia to consume its gas only on the domestic market, a Russian government document published on Monday showed, allowing the Balkan state to re-export the fuel.

The concession was made ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Moscow on Tuesday.

Gazprom has made a number of concessions to consumers, including price reductions, as it faces increasing competition form other energy sources, such as liquefied natural gas, as well as political pressure in Europe, which has tried to cut its reliance on energy supplies from Moscow.

The new document amends the 2012 contract for gas supplies until 2021 for the volume of 5 billion cubic meters per year.

The government has ordered the Russian energy ministry jointly with the foreign ministry to conclude talks with Serbia and sign the protocol on changes to the 2012 agreement.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by David Evans

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