Vučić warns of ‘virtually’ state of emergency until end of March
Serbian President Vučić: the country's budget is “bleeding” due to energy problems According to the Serbian President, the country is in crisis due to problems with the energy sector: rising electricity prices, problems with gas and oil supplies. Vučić also noted that Serbia lacks water due to drought
Serbia will actually be in a state of emergency until the end of March, although it is not officially introduced, President Aleksandar Vučić said on Pink TV.
“Until the end of March, in our country, although we do not formally introduce it, a state of emergency,” — he said (quoted by Danas). According to him, these eight months will be the hardest for Serbia.
The Serbian president pointed out that the country's budget is “bleeding” as electricity prices break records (although, according to Vučić, Serbians pay for it 14 times less than other Europeans due to state intervention); there are problems with gas, but alternatives have also been found for it.
“We import coal, our Chinese friends help us get two million tons, and this helps us a lot,” — he said, adding that all of Europe has returned to coal and nuclear energy.
Vučić recalled that Serbia would also have to give up Russian oil. The EU countries, within the framework of the sixth package of sanctions, adopted in late May-early June, agreed on an embargo on this fuel. The ban was introduced on sea supplies of oil, but excludes exports through pipelines, through which EU members received about a third of the raw materials. According to the EU plan, the embargo will be put into effect in stages, by the end of the year the EU countries intend to receive only 10% of the total volume of oil that came from Russia.
Despite the fact that Serbia is not a member of the union, the sanctions also affected it: at the end of autumn, the oil embargo will also apply to Belgrade. In this regard, Vucic stated the need to find alternatives to Russian oil and fill storage facilities. He noted that EU sanctions against Russian oil were “stolen from the pockets” of citizens of Serbia $600 million
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Among other problems of Serbia, in addition to energy, the head of state noted the drought, due to which many settlements have problems with water. Vučić urged fellow citizens to understand how “hard” the country is and promised that the authorities would do everything to get out of the crisis.