Illustration: BIRN

Kosovo’s Description in Energy Agreement Lies Behind Delay in Implementation

The removal of the inscription ‘Republic of Kosovo’ in the energy agreement by the Serbian company Elektroserver is one reason why the agreement with Serbia is on hold.

The Belgrade-backed electricity company, Elektrosever,  has signed two agreements with the Kosovo Electricity Transmission, System and Market Operator, KOSTT,  to charge consumers in Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo for energy as per the energy roadmap agreement agreed between Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels on June 21.

On Thursday, BIRN obtained both the agreement for adherence to the market rules as well as the agreement on balancing obligations, and in both of them Elektroserver has removed the inscription “Republic of Kosovo”, instead presenting Kosovo with a footnote – Kosovo*.

Sabri Musiqi, acting director of KOSTT, told the TV show “Kallxo Përnime” on Thursday that Elektrosever had interfered with the content of the agreement, so delaying its implementation.

“We have not implemented either of the two agreements because Elektrosever interfered in the content of the agreement for adherence to market rules,” he said.

“The term ‘Republic of Kosovo’ was part of this agreement. They have removed this part and placed a footnote. We could not accept such an intervention. It is not in our mandate to make this kind of acceptance,” he added.

Musiqi declared that upon receiving the agreement signed by Electroserver, it once again addressed them, but according to Elektroserver it was a done deal.

“Elektroserver have signed their part and have claimed that for them this work is done, because it is in line with political agreements,” Musiqi said.

Musiqi insisted that what Elektroserver has done is not valid as the company is registered in Kosovo and is subject to the laws of Kosovo.

In June, Belgrade and Pristina agreed to a so-called road map to further implement energy agreements made in 2013 and 2015, with the intention to solve the problem of consumers in Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo not paying for energy. 

The situation has not been resolved since the end of the Kosovo war in 1999. Serbs currently do not pay for the power supplied to them because they do not recognise Kosovo’s institutions as legally valid.

According to the road map, the Kosovo Energy Regulatory Office was to issue a supply license to Drustvo Elektrosever, a subsidiary in Kosovo of Serbian state-run energy company Elektroprivreda Srbije, “in accordance with Kosovo’s legal and regulatory framework”. 

Within ten days of the license being issued, Drustvo Elektrosever “will sign the necessary technical agreements with KOSTT [Kosovo’s electricity network system operator] and KEDS [the Kosovo Energy Distribution and Supply Company] in order to operate in the Kosovo energy market”. 

These agreements would allow Drustvo Elektrosever “to provide distribution services (billing, collection, maintenance and physical connection of new customers) in the four northern Serb-majority municipalities”.

Although days are passing and the deadlines to implement the roadmap are being violated, Musiqi said they are waiting for revision or guidance from state institutions on what to do next.

According to him, if no solution is found, the Kosovo government will likely continue to pay the bills for the northern municipalities.

The Office of Prime Minister Albin Kurti and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Dialogue, Besnik Bislim, did not answer queries from BIRN about this by the time of publication.

The European Union, as the guarantor of the implementation of this agreement, has also not provided an answer to this issue.

Another element preventing application of the agreement is that Elektrosever has also not yet provided KOSTT with customer data in the north, as provided in the roadmap.

The Kosovo Energy Regulator Office,  ERO, issued the license to Elektrosever on June 24, 2022.

The calendar for the roadmap is 100 days, while only one of the nine points on the agreement has been implemented so far.

According to the roadmap, in case of failure to act after 100 days of issuing the license, ERO may suspend or withdraw the license for Elektrosever, although before this decision there should be consultations with all the relevant parties, under the mediation of the EU within 15 days.

09/09/2022 - 16:54

09 September 2022 - 16:54

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