The Serbian government has abolished a Russian-controlled company's monopoly on the import of oil and allowed free pricing of gasoline in the Balkan country.
Serbian Energy Minister Petar Skundric said Wednesday the "historic" decision will take effect from the start of 2011.
Russian Gazprom Neft purchased a 51 percent stake in Serbia's oil monopoly NIS in 2008, with the deal envisaging that the monopoly be kept until 2011.
The Russians wanted the monopoly extended for at least another year but the Serbian government refused, citing its obligations to European Union's free market reforms.
Skundric said he hoped the decision would lead to the lowering of gasoline prices in Serbia, which are some of the highest in the region.