Petkovic on the energy agreement: We didn’t hand over Valac, we opened the door for the ASM

FOTO: Miroslav Lajčak/Twitter

The Serbian side not only forced Pristina to talk but also to agree on many issues important for the life of Serbs in the north – Serbia’s chief negotiator in the dialogue with Pristina and the head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic, commented on today’s BG-PR energy agreement. Petkovic claims that the north „is independent“ when it comes to energy supply.

„After this agreement, a door has been opened for talks on the formation of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities. With the agreement, we preserved peace and stability. We managed to ensure a normal supply of energy to consumers. Elektrosever will be fully set to take over energy supply management in the north,“ Petkovic said from Brussels today.

The latest round of EU-facilitated dialogue at the technical level between Belgrade and Pristina was held in Brussels today, during which it was announced that the „completion of the energy roadmap“ and the issue of the missing are expected.

Read more about the agreement in: Energy agreement adopted: Elektrosever receives a supply license, KEDS and KOSTT access to Valac

The EU special envoy for dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, announced on Twitter this morning that a 9-point agreement had been reached. According to the first point of this agreement, ERO will issue a supply license to Elektrosever.

Within seven days, Elektrosever will provide to KEDS and KOSTT the most recent data available on consumers, while within 30 days KEDS and KOSTT will have access to Valac.

This news was also confirmed by Pristina’s head of negotiations, Besnik Bislimi, and his Serbian counterpart, Petar Petkovic.

„Having in mind that Pristina has refused to discuss energy and important parts of the agreement for years, we finally did that today. Not only did we make Pristina talk, but we also agreed on many issues important for the lives of our people in the north of Kosovo,“ Petkovic said.

North „has independence“

According to Petkovic, the Roadmap represents a set of steps, deadlines, and responsibilities of both parties that start the moment Elektrosever obtains a supply license.

„What is especially important, Elektrosever also received a distribution license, we insisted on that during all these meetings in Brussels, and Pristina refused to provide that to Elektrosever,“ he added.

Elektrosever will thus be able to provide important services, such as billing, collection, maintenance and physical connection of new customers – the head of the Kosovo Office underlined.

„It is very important because we have independence in the supply of electricity in the north of Kosovo. We will also solve considerable issues of power cuts that have lasted for years, low voltage and restoration of infrastructure because due to its disrepair, part of the electricity did not even reach certain consumers,“ Petkovic pointed out.

While remarking that „there will be different interpretations of what we have agreed here“, he claims that he will say what is true and how things will unfold in the future.

After the license is issued, he specified, Elektrosever will sign an agreement with KOSTT and KEDS and another commercial agreement with KEDS.

Also, the EIC code will be given to Elektrosever, which “means that Elektrosever will be fully set to take over energy supply management in the north,” Petkovic says.

Furthermore, Petkovic claims that the unpaid electricity bills will not be paid retroactively.

„We heard that Pristina tried to frighten the citizens by threatening them that they would have to retroactively pay some electricity debts. All legal obligations for every consumer in the north of Kosovo start from the moment they sign the contract with Elektrosever. Before that happens, no one can bill anyone in the north of Kosovo,“ he said.

In his words, thanks to the supply, the distribution services, and the „fact that energy from Serbia proper will be able to reach the north of Kosovo again, we will have a complete supply system for the north.“

Two years ago, the north of Kosovo was separated from the EMS control area and joined with the block of energy system Kosovo – Albania (OST).

„In the end, the roadmap itself mentions that the agreements from 2013 and 2015 will be fully respected. It seems to me that with this roadmap, as well as the talks we had with KEDS, we have further strengthened these energy agreements, and I can rightly say that we have made a good agreement, but I do not say this with delight because we are facing a period of implementation,“ adds Petkovic, noting that he will personally, along with EPS and Serbian ministry of energy, oversee the implementation.

Pristina with no arguments about occupying Valac

„Our people can be calm and peaceful because Pristina no longer has any argument that it will invade Valac and forcibly occupy this important substation, that it will commit violence in the north, or shut down the power in the entire north. None of this is possible anymore. Elektrosever will be in charge of energy supply,“ Petkovic said.

We did not hand over Valac

Petkovic revealed that Lajcak guaranteed that Elektrosever will permanently be present in Valac and present in case of any upkeep.

„I have two letters here. They represent a package of energy agreements. This is the first letter, i.e. a guarantee from Mr. Lajcak as a representative for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which clearly states that Elektrosever will be permanently present in Valac and that any activity when it comes to the upkeep of the network in northern Kosovo or any other activity with KEDS and KOSTT, those activities will be possible in the presence but also with the prior consent of Elektrosever,“ he points out.

„It is very important that our people know that we did not hand over Valac, we did not even address the issue of property that is excluded from these agreements, because the issue of the property has yet to be discussed in the dialogue when the time comes.“

He reiterates that no one can threaten to invade Valac anymore, and that „our Elektrosever, our people, our workers“ will be permanently present there.

The letter and the entire agreement recognized the status of the operator of Elektrosever, which has the right to provide distribution services – something that Pristina has refused to accept all these years, Petkovic stressed.

„Another important piece of paper is other guarantees coming from the energy community, that what we agreed with KEDS in Istanbul is within the regulatory framework and when the time comes to sign an agreement with KEDS, that agreement will be respected,“ says Petkovic, reiterating that this means that Elektrosever has the ability and possibility to fully perform all services related to the supply of electricity to consumers in the north of Kosovo.

„In the end, we managed to get to the point where what was agreed will start to be applied again. The condition for normalization is implementation, so we started with the implementation, all deadlines will start from the moment Pristina issues a license.“

Belgrade’s chief negotiator also announced that the issue of missing persons, regional cooperation, delivery of medicines from Serbia, incidents and security would be discussed in Brussels during the day. The key issue highlighted by Belgrade today is the ASM, i.e. the implementation of previous agreements.

Belgrade showed its „firm stance“ with this agreement

This agreement has now revealed that Belgrade, which has always insisted on dialogue, has a firm stance, claims Petkovic.

He alleged that Belgrade has shown determination because plenty of good things have been acquired for the Serb people in Kosovo.
„Kurti says that Belgrade wants to attack the area of Kosovo, that we do not want to talk, that we are unconstructive, now it actually turns out that we are the ones who are constructive, we want dialogue, we want agreement because normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina can only be realized with this approach. Especially in these difficult times, when we are facing an even bigger crisis in terms of energy in Europe and the world, we have secured the supply of electricity to consumers with this agreement. And the fact is that electricity from Serbia proper can once again run to the north of Kosovo.“

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