St. Petersburg, 18 June 2010 (MIA) – Russia’s “Gazprom” has agreed to include Macedonia in project for “South Stream” gas pipeline, President Gjorge Ivanov said after the meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in St. Petersburg.
– Our experts have analyses that Macedonia remains isolated from “Nabucco” and “South Stream” gas pipelines. However, this announcement opens an opportunity to obtain cheap energy sources, contributing to greater energy stability in the country, Ivanov stated.
Macedonian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski, accompanying President Ivanov during the three-day visit to Russia, pointed out that construction of “South Stream” branch to Macedonia would place the country on the international map of energy transportation corridors, whereas the signing of Clearing Debt Agreement with the Russian Federation creates room for additional intensification of the cooperation between the two countries.
He stressed that cooperation with “Gazprom”, besides the construction of “South Stream” branch, also envisages development of gas network passing through Macedonia and participation of the Russian energy giant in the construction of gas power plants and possible transformation of TPP “Negotino” in gas power plant.
– By signing the Clearing Debt Agreement, Macedonia will enhance the cooperation with an energy giant such as “Gazprom” and the Russian Federation in general, Stavreski underlined.
He pointed out that realization of the Gasification Project will cost EUR 300 million, part of which will be covered with the clearing debt funds in the amount of US$ 60 million, along with US$ 15 million provided by the Macedonian Government. Russia expressed readiness to finance the remaining funds. However, other possibilities for project realization are also taken into account for the time being.
Stavreski pointed out that cooperation with “Gazprom” does not mean that Macedonia is “under other’s influence”, since being pragmatic is the main approach in the economic sphere and the international policy, while the best for Macedonian citizens is to have alternatives for supply of energy sources.
According to him, Macedonia will do its best to join “South Stream” gas pipeline, as well as “Nabucco” gas pipeline, and the other energy roads preferred by the EU. “Gazprom” will soon send an expert team to determine the gasification performances, thus providing for Macedonian economy to be supplied with cheap gas. The expert team will also determine the direction of the “South Stream” branch through Macedonia, which would be followed by signing inter-governmental agreement for implementation of the Project.
In addition to cooperation in the energy sector, at today’s meeting, Ivanov and Medvedev also discussed the possibilities for improving overall economic relations between Macedonia and Russia and potentials for opening the Russian market for Macedonian products.
Future cooperation between the two countries will be also regulated under the Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation, draft text of which Macedonia has already submitted to Moscow. This Agreement will create new framework for friendly relations between both countries. After text harmonization, the Agreement will be signed, and Medvedev announced his readiness to visit Macedonia for the signing ceremony.
In addition to the meeting with Medvedev, president Ivanov took part in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum today, which, as he pointed out, creates the global trends.
– Macedonia as small country has to follow the global trends and the global economy creators, Ivanov underlined.(MIA)