Despite the Western sanctions imposed on Russia, oil from the country is still finding its way into the European Union (EU) market, according to Republika Srpska Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic. However, the oil is now being sold through intermediaries at a much higher price.
Viskovic made these comments during the Russian Energy Week forum, stating that energy resources from Russia are still reaching Europe, albeit through different intermediaries. He acknowledged that this increased price is a consequence of the international restrictions that banned direct trade between Russia and the EU.
In reference to the current surge in energy prices across the bloc, Viskovic emphasized that when major global players shift their strategies, countries that aren’t directly involved in those processes have to endure certain losses. He noted that Republica Srpska, Serbia, and the Western Balkans nations, which have not joined the EU and G7 restrictions on Russia, are facing smaller losses compared to other European countries that were previously heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies.
Viskovic highlighted the disparity in energy prices, pointing out that people in Europe are paying twice as much for energy resources compared to his region. He warned that although Europe has been fortunate with mild winters and favorable weather conditions, their luck may run out eventually.
The prime minister cited Hungary as an example of a country that did not comply with the EU’s demands to impose sanctions on Russia. He explained that Hungary now receives Russian gas and oil, which are then transported to Serbia, Republika Srpska, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Viskovic also revealed the plans for the large-scale gasification of Republika Srpska, stating that a deal is expected to be struck with Russian energy giant Gazprom for the construction of two 30-megawatt power plants in the republic.
The implications of these developments suggest that even though Western sanctions have restricted direct trade between Russia and the EU, the oil is still finding its way into the market through intermediaries. This has resulted in an increased price for European countries, while other regions that are not subject to the same restrictions are facing smaller losses.
With ongoing concerns about rising energy prices and potential shortages, the situation highlights the complex and interconnected nature of the global energy market. The reliance on diverse sources of energy and the establishment of alternative supply routes become crucial factors in ensuring stable and affordable energy resources for the EU and its member states.
As the Republika Srpska prime minister emphasized, the current situation serves as a reminder that when global players reshuffle the cards, there are consequences that affect not only the direct participants but also those indirectly involved. As for the EU and its energy needs, finding a balance between the restrictions and the economic and practical realities will remain a challenging task in the foreseeable future.