As part of its commitment to supporting cultural initiatives and the preservation of Serbian history and heritage, Gazprom Neft is to finance the interior restoration of the St Sava Cathedral, Belgrade.
The St Savva Cathedral is a building of outstanding historical interest, the largest cathedral in the Balkans and one of the largest Orthodox church buildings in the world. Gazprom Neft’s support will see the 1,230 square metres of historical mosaics on the dome of the cathedral fully restored, at a total cost of EUR4 million. Together with their Serbian partners, a contractor for the project is in the process of being selected, through competitive tender.
Concurrently with its commencing investment in the broader Serbian economy, Gazprom Neft began a major programme supporting cultural initiatives and the preservation of Serbian history and cultural heritage in 2009. The first phase of this programme financed the restoration of the Russian Cemetery in Belgrade, completed in summer 2014. In November of that year His Holiness Patriarch Kirill (Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia), together with Patriarch Irinej, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, held a joint service and laid flowers at this memorial to Russian soldiers killed during the First and Second World Wars.
As well as its initiatives in preserving Serbia’s cultural heritage, Gazprom Neft runs the annual “Bolshoi Festival” together with film director Emir Kusturica, as well as supporting the Kustendorf film festival.
Gazprom Neft Deputy CEO for Corporate Communications Alexander Dybal commented: “Its acquisition of a majority interest in Serbian oil company NIS saw Gazprom Neft become not just a major foreign investor in Serbia, but also a major supporter and sponsor of various projects important to the country. Our involvement in the restoration of the St Sava Cathedral marks a new phase in our very extensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme in Serbia. We have every confidence that the cathedral, once fully restored, will become a significant symbol of the many centuries of friendship between Russia and Serbia.”