Skopje, 5th July 2012 (MIA) – Inclusion of Macedonia in the “South Stream” Project and the project for construction of national gas pipeline network are an exceptional strategic issue for the Republic of Macedonia, which provided for inclusion of Macedonia in the international gas transportation corridors and stable source of gas for the future generations.

According to Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, this is an important political, above all economic, issue contributing to improving competitiveness of the Macedonian economy, and he is at the position that it would have been bad if Macedonia was left out of this Project.   

– We have made a qualitative step forward in the realization of the national gas pipeline and the inclusion of Macedonia in the “South Stream” as well. What happened and what is going to happen with the national gas pipeline network and the inclusion in the “South Stream” is an exceptional strategic issue for Macedonia, since we have joined the international gas transportation corridors, which, in the coming 10 or so, hundred or so, years will transport gas from the gas fields in Europe. It would have been bad if Macedonia was left out of this. Now, we have practically provided stable source of gas for all future generations, the economy, the citizens. Everybody can use it, and I believe the price would thus be lower, since when there is larger quantity and many users, the price can be reduced, Minister said after the presentation of the advance electronic system of the Customs Administration.

He also said that the Agreement for clearing the debt of Russia towards Macedonia was signed in 2010, when it was agreed for US$ 40 million to be settled through construction of national gas pipeline network in Macedonia. Now, memorandum was signed between the two companies from Macedonia and Russia which are to build the gas pipeline, with a short timeframe to harmonize the conditions, for the Russian side to submit the offer and to start the realization by the end of this year. – We have advanced much further in the process with many particularities defined, the Minister said, explaining that “StroyTrans Gas” is to submit its final offer now. Their team will visit Macedonia in the middle of July to more precisely reconcile the technical details, afterwards they will submit their offer, expected in September-October at the latest, and the construction will commence immediately afterwards. Gasification will include all cities in Macedonia.

As for the second project, inclusion of Macedonia in the “South Stream”, the Minister emphasized that after the delivery of the draft Agreement, we practically have a response from the Russian side to our request for inclusion of Macedonia in this Project, i.e. Macedonia is accepted by the Government of the Russian Federation. – Now, we will particularly discuss this Agreement. Once the Agreement is precisely reconciled, Russian-Macedonian company will be established for the construction of the branch in Macedonia, Stavreski explained.

As Stavreski said, when the gas pipeline branch towards Macedonia will be constructed will be known once the distribution point in Bulgaria is reached. – Construction of the gas pipeline through the Black Sea to Bulgaria is to be completed first, and when the gas pipeline reaches Bulgaria, one branch runs north to Europe, one branch runs to Macedonia, the Minister explained, adding that during the meeting with “Gazprom” they were told that construction of “South Stream” will commence by December this year and will be complete by 2015. The system will transfer 63 billion cubic meters of gas.

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