No one can bypass EU sanctions against Russia through Serbia, Vucic says

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BELGRADE, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday no one can bypass EU sanctions against Russia through Serbia, which imports all of its gas from Russia and its sole oil company NIS is majority-owned by Gazprom Neft and Gazprom.

“We have reacted in cases of re-export of certain goods and our state bodies have detained people from companies that were involved in bypassing sanctions against the Russian Federation,” Vucic said after meeting EU enlargement commissioner Oliver Verhelyi.

Serbia, which is aiming to join the EU, has been criticised by foreign diplomats for not formally introducing sanctions against Russia for its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is Serbia’s main ally in opposition to the independence of its former province Kosovo. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 nearly a decade after NATO bombing drove Serb forces from its territory.

“I welcome the president’s message that he will help us implement sanctions (against Russia) in order to end this war,” Verhelyi said through an interpreter after meeting Vucic.

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