Skopje, 23rd July 2013 (MIA) – Macedonia and the Russian Federation signed the agreement for cooperation in the construction of the South Stream Gas Pipeline, thus realizing the strategic goal for ensuring the energy future for the country. Macedonia joins the South Stream through a leg and as for where it will be constructed from, Serbia or Bulgaria, it is for “Gazprom” to decide.
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, and Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Novak Valentinovich, signed the Agreement. Representatives from the Russian energy companies “Gazprom” and “StroyТrans Gas” also attended the signing ceremony.
The Agreement, as believed by both parties, is a good basis to intensify the economic cooperation between the both countries.
– Following a period of negotiations and preparations, the Agreement is finally signed today and it is excellent news for the Republic of Macedonia as regards long-term energy stability, securing sufficient quantities of gas and further development of the gas infrastructure in Macedonia, i.e. extension of the gas pipeline to other cities, Prime Minister Gruevski said after the signing of the Agreement in Moscow. He expects for the project to also contribute to additional strengthening of the political and economic relations between the Republic of Macedonia and the Russian Federation, being a result of the friendship and positive trends in the bilateral cooperation.
Gruevski also pointed out that there was a gas pipeline from the border with Bulgaria to Skopje at the moment, and now preconditions were created for further steps aimed at constructing the pipeline and its extension to the other cities. He underlined that preliminary steps were thus commenced, i.e. Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia concluded an agreement with a company that was preparing a feasibility study on secondary gasification, meaning gasification of the cities. As he stressed, agreement on new large quantities of gas was also signed.
– South Stream construction has already been launched, and it is expected for the sea leg under the Black Sea in Russia to this part of the world to be completed by 2015, to continue later on and, by 2018 at the latest, to be fully completed, hence, from this point of view, the project is a huge step for the Republic of Macedonia, Gruevski underlined.
He also said that it was expected for the agreement with “StroyТrans Gas” to be signed by October, for which they had given consent as regards the agreement text, and what remained to be done was the completion of the procedures in the Ministries of the Government of the Russian Federation.
– We are now also discussing this with the Minister of Energy and he hopes that the agreement with „StroyТrans Gas“ will be signed by October, meaning that, after signing the agreement, construction of the internal infrastructure, i.e. pipeline network for transmission of gas to other cities in Macedonia, can commence, Prime Minister Gruevski pointed out. This agreement, as he underlined, is part of the comprehensive construction of the gas pipeline network in Macedonia and it is, in a way, settlement of the clearing debt of the Soviet Union towards Macedonia so as to close this issue.
According to him, signing the Agreement today is of key importance, since it provides for new quantities of gas so as to build a pipeline for the gas network in the country.
Vice Prime Minister Stavreski underlined that Macedonia succeeded in its efforts to join this project, although, at the beginning, it was not an integral part of the South Stream.
– Government work, commitment and efforts have borne fruits and I am happy that we have succeeded in signing this Agreement and commencing the process of gasification of the Republic of Macedonia in conditions created under this Agreement, Stavreski pointed out. He went on that all Macedonian households, as well as industrial capacities, would be able to use natural energy sources, to use gas, in future, which was significant for the economic development of the Republic of Macedonia, for attracting new foreign investments, as well as for the domestic investors, since, as he said, greater competitiveness of the Macedonian companies and Macedonian business sector would be created, resulting in fresh investments and job creation.
Minister of Energy, Alexander Valentinovich Novak, pointed out that the Russian Federation saluted Macedonia’s commitment to join this project, which was of exceptional importance for the Russian Federation, as well as for the European states, a commitment resulting in today’s signing of the Agreement.
He underlined that the Agreement was a result of sincere and friendly relations between the two countries, which demonstrate responsibility as regards the needs of the citizens. He also pointed out that South Stream had already commenced to be built, and according to the plan, it was envisaged for the sea leg under the Black Sea to Southeast Europe to be completed by 2015, and the whole project to be fully constructed by 2018.
After the signing ceremony, meeting was held between Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, and Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Alexander Vlentinovich Novak.