South Stream Construction Officially Started in Serbia
Serbia considers the South Stream natural gas pipeline as a prime opportunity to boost its economy and employment, stated Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.
Sunday Nikolic, together with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, were present at an official ceremony for the start of construction of South Stream on Serbian territory in Belgrade.
"The construction of South Stream is in the interest of our country' s energy security and will allow Serbia to send a clear signal that it is a country in which it is worth it to invest," said the Serbian President, as reported by RIA Novosti.
At the same time, Russian gas giant Gazprom CEO Miller said that the two parties have signed an agreement regarding a loan from Russia to build the Serbian stretch of the pipeline.
"As concerns Bulgaria and Serbia, we have reached an agreement that we will finance the share of our partners, while in the future they will return this credit from transit fees," said Miller.
Earlier the Gazprom CEO has estimated investments required for the 420-km long Serbian stretch to be around EUR 1.5 B.
The pipeline is planned to branch out from Serbia to Croatia and the Bosnian Serb Republic, with branches to Macedonia and Kosovo also considered.
The main route of South Stream will bring Russian natural gas via Bulgaria and Serbia on to Hungary and Austria.
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