Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Croatian President Stjepan Mesić to discuss issues related to the property of the Serbian Oil Industry (NIS).
NIS, which is now owned by Russia’s Gazprom, believes that some property in Croatia that also belongs to the company, which Croatia denies.
According to Mesić, Gazprom bought NIS and counted as its basic capital partial ownership of the Croatian stretch of a pipeline, and is asking for gas stations, resorts and several buildings from Croatia as well.
“I said that this is being disputed and that we will give officials statements on this,” Mesić said.
Mesić and Putin also held talks in Moscow regarding Croatia’s participation in the South Stream pipeline project.
Mesić said that Croatia missed its chance to have the pipeline go through its territory and that it will be up to further negotiations to determine whether Croatia could get on board the project, but said that he “does not have high hopes”.
“We missed that discussion when the time was right,” Mesić said, reminding that in 2007, Putin offered Croatia participation in the South Stream pipeline, which the government in power in Zagreb at that time rejected.
“It seems that whether Croatia in will depend on Russia’s good will, because Russia has secured its own needs,” Mesić said.
But the Croatian president also believes that his country has advantages in its bid to join the project, and mentioned “already-secured corridors now containing oil pipelines, which means that additional land would not have to be bought”.