Coming potentially as a counter to EU pressure, primarily over simmering tensions in Kosovo, or a need for stable energy supply due to turbulence caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine—or both—Serbia appears to be moving forward on the construction of a Serbian-Hungarian oil pipeline, which would follow a 304 kilometer path along the Szazhalombatta-Algyo-Roszke-Novi Sad route.
Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Djedovic signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the construction with Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, with the ministry estimating the value of the construction to come to EUR 157 mln, according to Djedovic, as cited by ekapija.com.
“Hungary is supplied with gas via Balkan Stream through Serbia, and Serbia stores a part of its gas reserves in Hungary,” Djedovic said, as cited by the website. “ With the construction of the new oil pipeline, we will additionally expand our strategic relations in the field of energy, and Serbia will raise its energy security to a higher level.”
The move follows repeated moves by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to ensure energy supply since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Vucic’s friendship with EU bad-boy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has rankled Brussels, which has also worked to supply carrots in lieu of sticks over the course of 2023 in terms of funds for various Serbian infrastructure projects.
Photo of Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Djedovic USAID in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons by USAID, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.