Serbia to Sell NIS, Host South Stream

Serbia will adhere to the provisions of an energy agreement with Russia that includes the sale of state-owned oil producer Naftna Industrija Srbije to Gazprom and the construction of part of the South Stream gas pipeline across its territory, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said.

"We will stick to the deal," Cvetkovic said Monday in an interview near Belgrade. The government is still seeking to negotiate a price for NIS, and has hired Deloitte & Touche to assess its value, he added.

Serbia's caretaker Cabinet postponed ratification of the energy accord in May until a new government and parliament could be formed after elections that month. Following an inconclusive vote, the two strongest parties vied to assemble rival coalitions and the energy deal with Russia stalled. The government on July 10 formed a committee to renegotiate the sale after Gazprom said NIS's value had declined since it offered $630 million for 51 percent stake in January.