BELGRADE, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Serbia plans to diversify its supply of natural gas, and it is currently open to all projects in order to achieve a better price and to have a reliable supply, said Serbian Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 15th Economic Summit held here, Antic said that besides the gas it obtains through Russia's Gazprom, it also considers other options such as the future Turkish gas pipeline that will bring Russian natural gas across the Black Sea and further into Europe.
"We will talk about this project with potential transit countries -- Greece, Macedonia, Hungary and Austria," Antic said, adding that the future of Serbia lies in the energy sector, and that is why it looks for projects that would enable it to become a gas transit country.
Besides the Turkish gas pipeline, Antic said that Serbia is interested in obtaining gas from Azerbaijan via trans-Anatolian and trans-Adriatic gas pipelines that are under construction.
He explained that Serbia intensifies its quest for new supply routes as the contract between Gazprom and Ukraine through which it obtains its gas is due to expire in 2019.
Serbia was one of the countries of the region that joined the project South Stream which was abandoned by Russia in 2014 due to obstacles as well as sanctions imposed by the EU.
According to Antic, the country is now ready to join any future projects that aim to bring gas into Europe.
However, he said, the supply provided by Gazprom will remain Serbia's priority, even as new routes will be needed in order to introduce competition on its market and achieve best price of gas for people and industry.
The 15th Economic Summit of the Republic of Serbia ran from June 8 to 9 gathered around 400 participants, including international policy makers, business leaders and experts under the slogan "Repowering the Economy."