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Vučić in Oslo: Norway will help reform energy in Serbia

Belgrade, despite the turbulent situation in the region in connection with Kosovo and the increasingly audible echo of events in Ukraine in Europe, is persistently looking for new external partners to develop the economy and attract investment. It was with these goals in Norway on a working visit on November 28-29 that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić paid a visit.

Earlier, the capital of Serbia hosted a large-scale economic forum organized by the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade and a number of business structures of the Nordic countries on the topic of renewable energy.

In Oslo, the Serbian President received a warm welcome at all levels. Vučić was received by King Harald V, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Speaker of Parliament Masoud Garakhkhani.

“We talked about how to invest in renewable energy, this is not a matter of one day, but for years to come. Large investments are needed, and Norwegian assistance is significant,” said Aleksandar Vučić.

“Norway is one of the largest donors and investors. We will have a conference at which we will seek the arrival of even more Norwegian investors,” the Serbian leader stressed.

For obvious reasons, the parties also planned an in-depth agenda for the exchange of views.

“Certainly, the topic will again be relations between Belgrade and Pristina,” Vučić said in Oslo.

“Today we are opening a new chapter in relations between Serbia and Norway,” Aleksandar Vučić said at a meeting with Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament Garakhkhani.

Earlier, Vučić announced that Serbia needs to reform its energy sector and diversify its sources of gas and oil supplies, as well as increase investment in renewable energy, and Norway will help it, one of the leaders in this area, especially in green energy.

Mining and Energy Minister Dubravka Djedovic, who was a member of the Serbian delegation, met with State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Gas and Energy Andreas Bjeland Eriksen and discussed cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy.

The Serbian leader listened with great interest to the views and proposals of the Norwegian side on further promotion of cooperation in the energy sector, primarily renewable energy.

According to Tanjug, Vučić emphasized the importance of cooperation with Norway, "not only because of its experience in harmonizing EU standards and rules, but also because of expert and financial assistance to our reform processes, especially in modernizing our energy system."

In conversations with Norwegian representatives, especially experts, Vucic was extremely frank. He made it clear that the Serbian side would "listen carefully to the views of the Norwegians" on reforms in the energy sector. In the words of the President of Serbia: "We don't know how to do it." “But it’s good that we have someone to learn from.”

According to Norwegian experts, of the four energy companies in Serbia, "only one has good management." Aleksander Vucic accepted this verdict without embarrassment and promised to "carefully study the recommendations of the Norwegians." In turn, the Norwegian experts promised to develop several options for Serbia to carry out reforms in the country's energy sector.

Vučić also visited Trondheim, the largest educational center in Norway and Europe, where more than 40,000 students study, including a small group of Serbs in areas that are in high demand for the country - information technology, energy, and business. Belgrade intends to strengthen cooperation with this center, which Vucic confirmed at meetings with the leadership of the Center.

“We can get big investments. These are not easy agreements. We must find what will be our greatest interest in all this. Until 2050, we must invest 32 billion. About 10 billion should be invested in the power grid alone, ” quotes Vučić.

As a result of this visit, Belgrade is determined to continue the processes that have begun and, most importantly, to receive expert assistance and investments from Norway. Both Serbia and Norway seem to be in the mood for close cooperation.

Vučić in Oslo: Norway will help reform energy in Serbia