Serbia and Russia Sign Deal on South Stream Gas Pipeline

World | February 25, 2008, Monday // 00:00
Serbia and Russia Sign Deal on South Stream Gas Pipeline Serbian PM Vojislav Kostunica (right) welcomed in Belgrade Monday Russia's Deputy PM and future President Dmitriy Medvedev. Photo by BGNES

A high-ranking Russia delegation visited Serbia Monday and signed an agreement for the construction of the South Stream gas transit pipeline on Serbian territory.

Russia's delegation was led by the First Deputy PM and Putin's most likely successor as president Dmitriy Medvedev, and by the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The two met with Serbian President Boris Tadic and PM Vojislav Kostunica.

The agreement the two sides signed for the construction of the South Stream gas transit pipeline is similar to the respective agreement signed between Russia and Bulgaria during Putin's visit to Sofia in January.

It envisages the creation of a joint company between Gazprom and Serbiagaz, which will construct the pipeline on Serbian territory.

Putin's successor Medvedev also declared in Belgrade that Russia would support Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo, because it was the only nation with jurisdiction over Kosovo.

Russian diplomats commented that apart from the gas pipeline deal, the future Russian President's visit to Serbia aimed to coordinate common initiatives with respect to the Kosovo crisis.

They reminded that after Kosovo declared independence a week ago, Serbia appeared to have been drifting away from the West, and was increasingly turning to Russia for support.

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