Vucic: Construction of Bulgaria-Serbia Gas Connection Begins in the Summer
I expect in June or July to begin the construction of the interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia. This was stated by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
"After building the interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia, we will have to build a gas pipeline to the Hungarian border," he said.
According to him, the interconnector connection will allow Serbia to receive gas from "Turkish Stream", for which is also expected EU funding.
Speaking to Sputnik, Vucic explains that the talks with the Russian side on the Mi-17 helicopters continue. He hopes they will end by the end of this year.
"The forthcoming visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is very important for our country. He is a great friend of Serbia and I look forward to strengthening our ties, talking about all issues and expanding cooperation in all areas, "the Serbian president said.
Vucic said Serbia is "grateful to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who cares about the Western Balkans unlike his predecessors," Vucic said.
"We have improved trade and military cooperation, but most importantly cooperation in the energy sector. I hope we will continue to work this way, "added the Serbian president.
The interconnection between Bulgaria and Serbia
The Sofia-Tsaribrod / Dimitrovgrad (Serbia) interconnection gas pipeline - Nis (Serbia) is envisaged as a reversal link connecting the national gas networks of Bulgaria and Serbia. The interconnector will contribute to the diversification of routes, the interconnection of the two countries and the implementation of natural gas transmission. Initially, the interconnector is expected to provide a supply of 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas. It was declared by the European Commission as a project of common interest of the EU.
On January 19, 2017, the Ministers of Energy of Bulgaria and Serbia Temenujka Petkova and Alexander Antic signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Interconnector Project.
For the construction of the Bulgarian section, funding is provided under the Innovation and Competitiveness Program 2014-2020 amounting to EUR 45 million.
Turkish Stream and Serbia
Only two days after the start of Turkey's construction, on May 9, 2017, Aleksandar Vucic expressed hope that his country would receive natural gas from Turkey. "The construction of the Turkish stream has began. In my opinion, much of the gas going to Turkey will go to Bulgaria, which will not be called South Stream, and I am absolutely sure it does not matter how it will be called, we do not know, but in any case there should be an agreement between the Russians and the Europeans, I think we are not far from this despite the fact that nobody is talking about it, and this will be great news for Serbia, " said Vucic.
On May 17, 2017, in Beijing, during a meeting with the Russian President he repeated his request again. Then Vucic said that Serbia should increase Russian gas supplies from today's 2 billion to at least 4-5 billion cubic meters if it wants to be an industrialized country. "At the One Belt Forum, President Putin spoke of the need for a gas interconnector between Serbia and Bulgaria so that we can get Russian gas again. If we want to be an industrialized country, we need to increase gas consumption from 2 billion to 4-5 billion cubic meters. We have no choice, there is no elsewhere we can take those quantities of gas. For 5 years now people have been trying to convince me that there are other options. No, gas is available only in Russia, give us an opportunity for it to come to us through Turkey and Bulgaria, so we have a gas pipeline by 2019, "Vucic said.
Turkish Stream Project
On May 7, Gazprom began construction of the sea section of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline near the Russian Black Sea coast. The length of the sea section is about 910 km, and on the land part of the territory of Turkey - 180 km. The total project cost for the possible construction of four sections as originally planned is estimated at € 11.4 billion.
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