Serbia is a haven for many Russian companies affected by sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. According to official figures from the Business Registry Office (APR), 288 Russian-owned companies were set up in Serbia last month. These are mainly small and medium enterprises that are active in the field of services and mainly IT and which had a business relationship with western countries.
The fact that Serbia has not cut ties with Russia, imposed sanctions and is open to the West may work well for attracting Russian companies, analysts say, and say it could work well for Serbia’s economy. Analysts, however, predict that there will be problems in Serbia’s relations with Western countries and especially with the European Union. Danas’s financial editor Miat Laketic says there will be backlash in Brussels if Russian companies try to circumvent Western sanctions by moving their operations to Serbia. “It seems that Serbia is trying to reap economic benefits by not condemning Russian aggression. This will certainly drive Serbia away from the European Union,” Laketic said.
There are currently 876 small and medium-sized Russian companies operating in Serbia. Also active in the energy sector are GazpromNeft, which owns a majority stake in Serbia’s largest oil company ΄΄NIS΄΄, the gas import and distribution company YugoRosgas and the oil company Lukoil.
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