Romania: Searches in a Serbian Company, subsidiary of Gazprom

Romanian authorities searched the premises of a Serbian oil company controlled by the Russian giant Gazprom.
NIS Petrol Serbie

Romanian authorities searched the premises of a Serbian oil company controlled by Russian giant Gazprom, NIS Petrol, as part of an investigation into the disclosure of information
secret, announced Tuesday the prosecutor’s office.

Eight employees of NIS Petrol were interviewed on Monday, the Directorate of Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism said in a statement, without specifying whether they had been detained.

As a result of these hearings, four employees are now under investigation. They were left free, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office told AFP on Tuesday.

They are suspected of having transmitted to their parent company in Belgrade confidential reports on oil deposits in this country which is one of the largest producers of gas and oil in the European Union.

Prosecutors also mention “the unauthorized transfer of computer data”.

The operation took place in the capital Bucharest and in Timisoara (west).

NIS Petrol has been operating in Romania for several years and manages under concession six oil and gas fields in the Bihor and Timisoara regions, near the Serbian border.

The company also has 19 Gazprom service stations on Romanian territory.

This former state-owned company was partially privatized in the late 2000s, with the Gazprom group becoming the majority shareholder.

The Serbian state still holds nearly 30% of the company’s shares.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has ruled out any responsibility of the Serbian state, in a context of high energy tensions in Europe.

“This has nothing to do with the war for energy, it is a political war and espionage in order to be able to further discipline some (countries) considered disobedient,” he said in remarks reported by the N1 television channel.

Belgrade has condemned the invasion of Ukraine at the UN, but refuses to align itself with the European sanctions against Moscow.

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