Montenegro 'Interested' in South Stream Pipeline - EconMin
Montenegro's Economy Minister Vladimir Kavaric announced that his country desired to be included in the South Stream gas pipeline project.
"South Stream is part of the diversification opportunities for our energy sources and also an opportunity to increase competitiveness of our economy. We have not yet received an official invitation, but there were negotiations with representatives of [Russian energy concern] Gazprom on that issue," Kavaric was quoted by Montenegro's leading daily Vjesti as saying.
The minister explained that Gazprom representatives had held talks with Gazprom authorities over Montenegro's gas demand.
Kavaric's statements follow comments from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said on Sunday Budapest was still willing to "cooperate" with Gazprom on the project, despite the EU's stance on the need to reduce European gas dependence on Russia.
They also come a week after Serbia, which is one of the countries to host the pipeline, was advised by the European Commission to freeze the project until discrepancies with Russia on pipeline were smoothed out.
Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic, for his part, insisted that South Stream was "a good deal" for his country, as its construction would inject some EUR 350 M into local companies, regardless of whether the pipes would become operational or not.
In June Bulgaria, the country where South Stream enters the EU, halted activities on the pipeline after the EU Commission insisted it do so.
Brussels argues issues of competition and flawed public procurement, but also violation of the EU's Third Energy Package prescribing liberalization of energy production and supplies, are underpinning the construction.
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