The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, reacted after the DIICOT raids at NIS Petrol, a subsidiary of Gazprom. He claimed that they harm the country’s image, given that NIS Petrol is a Serbian company, but if the allegations are true, they are not Serbian citizens, according to Euronews Serbia.
“I do not at all exclude the possibility of real NIS guilt, but I do not know the case, I did not deal with it. It is important to emphasize that they are not Serbian citizens, it has nothing to do with us. They are mostly Russians, but we will ask for more information from the Romanian police,” he said.
Vucic hinted that the scandal would be related to Serbia’s position on the international stage, “to discipline those whom some consider disobedient”. “They’re accusing one of the NIS subsidiaries of leaking data or something. Anyway, that’s the only thing we were missing. Explain now that this has nothing to do with the Serbian state, when it will be announced in all the news in the world about a Belgrade company,” he said.
NIS stated that “it has cooperated and will cooperate fully with all competent authorities to clarify all aspects related to the activities of the company and its employees in Romania.”
The statements come after DIICOT made 9 searches in Bucharest and Timișoara at NIS Petrol, a subsidiary of Gazprom, “in a case with the object of committing the crimes of disclosing secret service or non-public information and unauthorized transfer of computer data”, according to the prosecutors’ statement.
Since NIS Petrol started prospecting in Timiș County, in 2008, in the areas near the towns of Cenad, Dudeștii Vechi, Valcani, Beba Veche, Tomnatic, Teremia Mare, Comloșul Mare, Gottlob and Sânnicolau Mare, it has collected a series of information about the oil and gas reserves in the respective perimeters. Although it had the obligation to transmit this data to the Romanian state, represented by ANRM, as the owner of the respective lands, NIS Petrol transmitted all the information directly to Belgrade and from there, most likely, to Moscow.
Practically, the Romanian authorities had no idea what was discovered during prospecting by NIS Petrol. 4 people were charged with disclosure of secret service or non-public information and unauthorized transfer of computer data.