BELGRADE (Sputnik) - The EU-plotted ban on Russian oil supplied by tankers will increase Serbia's oil spending by 20% as the country will have to switch to a pipeline supply through Croatia, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Friday.
In June, the EU imposed a ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude oil starting December 5. Initially, Serbia was exempt from the ban, but on Wednesday, media reported that the exemption will be canceled in the new sanctions package. Croatia allegedly lobbied this decision, according to Serbian officials.
"If we are not able to import Russian oil like some EU countries, it means that it [buying oil from other suppliers] will be at least 20% more expensive, hundreds and hundreds of millions of euro will come directly out of pocket of Serbian citizens and households because of it," Brnabic said at a briefing.
The measure would seriously harm Serbia, which imports Russian oil through the Adria pipeline, also known as the JANAF pipeline, which pumps oil from tankers in the Omisalj terminal in the Croatian island of Kirk to the refineries in Serbia.
According to the Serbian prime minister, Croatia, as a country controlling the Adria pipeline, uses oil supplies as a tool to exert political pressure on Serbia.
On Thursday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the EU postponed the making of a decision whether to exempt Serbia from the ban until December.
On Thursday, the European Commission agreed on the eighth sanctions package against Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine. The new package of EU sanctions includes the implementation of the G7 oil price cap and expansion of the ban on the import and export of goods.
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