Macedonia Officially joins South Stream Gas pipeline
Tuesday, 03 July 2012

Macedonia officially becomes part of the "South Stream" pipeline project. Today's handing over of the draft-agreement is a confirmation by the Russian Federation and Gazprom company that Macedonia is part of the energy project, whose construction is planned to start by year's end and to be completed by late 2015.


"There's no more dilemma - Macedonia is joining the international gas pipeline corridor "South Stream" as it has been agreed between PM Nikola Gruevski and (Russian) President Vladimir Putin. We've received the text of the draft-agreement on Macedonia's participation into the "South Stream" project," Vice Premier and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski stated Tuesday in Nizhny Novgorod, where the 6th session of the Mixed Macedonian-Russian Commission was held.

It is a remarkable success for Macedonia, according to him, because a huge strategic issue is solved for long-term energy stability of the country.


I'm content, Stavreski said, that in a very short time we have managed to get a green light from Gazprom and the Russian government a leg of the gas pipeline to pass through Macedonia. "This was in fact done from a position where there were no plans to be included in the project through myriad of contacts and high-ranging talks." He added that it resolved the issue of gas supply for all future generations and it was mostly significant for Macedonia's economy, because "it will make it more competitive with a secured gas resource which will be purchased by an affordable price."


After the agreement will be studied by legal and energy experts and the text will be harmonised with the other seven countries included in the project, a mixed company is planned to be formed to work on the realisation of the Macedonian leg of the gas pipeline. "These activities will take place in the period to come. What happened today is essential. We got a definitive confirmation from the Russian government and Gazprom that Macedonia is part of the 'South Stream' project," Stavreski stressed.

Russia's Deputy Minister for Regional Development Maxim Travnikov stated that the project's realisation was crucial for the modernisation of the entire energy system and for Macedonia's development.


"By joining the 'South Stream' project, Macedonia will boost its energy stability and improve the living conditions of citizens," said Travnikov expressing hopes that everything would be agreed in due time and that both sides would be satisfied.

The project is expected to be launched by the end of 2012 and will be completed by late 2015. Depending on details, it is yet to be determined when the Macedonian leg will be built.

Vice PM Stavreski said that the session of the inter-governmental commission was also important due to the signing of a memorandum for cooperation with Stroytransgaz company, which "is a step forward in constructing a national gas pipeline network."


Participants at the session amongst other things discussed to organise meetings between Russian and Macedonian businessmen and to strengthen the cooperation in science, culture, education and other areas significant for the traditionally favourable relations between Macedonia and Russia.


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