Serbia and Kosovo* have agreed a roadmap for the implementation of two energy agreements, reached in 2013 and 2015 under EU facilitation. Kosovo’s Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) will issue a license to a subsidiary of Serbia’s state-owned power utility to supply electricity in the four Serb-majority municipalities in the north of Kosovo*, according to the document.
The roadmap, adopted in a meeting mediated by the European Union’s envoy Miroslav Lajčak in Brussels, also envisages for Kosovo’s transmission system operator KOSTT and the distribution system operator KEDS to gain access to the contested Valač (Vallaq) substation in the northern municipality of Zvečan and to other power transmission and distribution infrastructure. This should happen within 30 days of the issuance of a supply license to the subsidiary of Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) called Elektrosever.
The plan should ensure that consumers in northern Kosovo* start paying for electricity they use
Lajčak, who announced the deal on Twitter, described it as “a major step forward” in the EU-mediated Belgrade-Prishtina dialogue. The roadmap, however, does not include a time frame for issuing a license to Elektrosever.
According to media reports, the implementation of the roadmap should solve the issue of charging consumers in the northern municipalities for the electricity they use, as they have not been paying for it for more than two decades – since the end of the war in Kosovo* in 1999.
Belgrade’s chief negotiator Petar Petković said the deal means that the north of Kosovo* will again be supplied with electricity from central Serbia. He also said that consumers will not be required to pay any electricity debts, and that they will be billed only after they sign contracts with Elektrosever.
Elektrosever is to sign agreements accepting Kosovo’s power market rules and balancing responsibility
According to the roadmap, Elektrosever is to sign agreements with KOSST and KEDS on the acceptance of the Kosovo* electricity market rules and balancing responsibility, as well as a connection agreement and a commercial agreement to provide distribution services (billing, collection, maintenance, and the physical connection of new customers) in the four Serb-majority municipalities.
In case of non-compliance, Kosovo’s energy regulator may decide to suspend or withdraw Elektrosever’s license. The document also states that its successful implementation will not affect the obligation of the two sides to fully implement the 2013 and 2015 energy agreements.