Premier: Serbia ready to reduce dependency on Russian gas

AP News
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Posted: May 28, 2015 3:37 AM
Premier: Serbia ready to reduce dependency on Russian gas

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says his country will accept U.S. calls to reduce dependency on Russian gas supplies by adding an American-backed pipeline that would bring gas to Europe from Azerbaijan.

Vucic tells the AP in an interview that "regarding energy safety, energy security, we are ready to diversify the sources of gas for Serbia, which is very important for our American friends as well."

The U.S. has been encouraging Balkan states to move forward with the alternative pipeline, rather than setting its hopes on a project that would pipe Russian gas through Turkey. The West has accused Russia of using gas as a tool to increase its political influence over countries like Serbia.

Supporting the American-backed pipeline is a major policy shift by Serbia, a traditional Russian ally.