Nizhny Novgorod, 2nd July 2012 (MIA) – Project for gasification of Macedonia worth EUR 300 million commences. Russian company “StroyТrans Gas” and Macedonian Energy Resources signed Memorandum of Cooperation on Monday within the Macedonian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission, being the first serious step towards construction of the national gas pipeline network in the country.The Agreement is to be signed in few months at the latest, followed by on-site works, MIA reporter said.

– This is height of the efforts we have invested so far within the Intergovernmental Commission and the Agreement for regulating the clearing debt of Russia towards Macedonia, under which this Project is to be realized, as well as the recent visit by Prime Minister Gruevski and the meeting he had with the President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg last week, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, and co-chair of the Intergovernmental Commission said after signing the Memorandum.

According to him, agreements reached during the meetings held at the Intergovernmental Commission are put into operation. – I expect for this Agreement to set the timeframe in which all technical and other details will be agreed, so as to start the realization of the gasification project in few months, i.e. to sign the Agreement so as to fully realize this Project. Both parties have a month or two at the most to finalize the activities and three to four months at the most to commence the realization of the Project, Stavreski said.

Commencement of the construction of the facilities in few months was also confirmed by Maxim Travnikov, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and co-chair of the Intergovernmental Commission. He pointed out that construction of the facilities and the actual supply of gas throughout the territory of Macedonia will start in few months.

The project is worth US$ 75 million, US$ 60 million out of which are the clearing debt of Russia towards Macedonia and US$ 15 million is provided from the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia, so as, as Stavreski underlined, to finalize it from financial point of view in this respect. He went on explaining that the project for gasification of Macedonia is worth US$ 300 million and it will be carried out in three stages, according to the talks with the European Bank, from where additional funds are expected.

The Government, as Minister of Transport and Communications, Mile Janakievski, pointed out, is fully committed to preparing the projects, and the Memorandum signed today contributes to the commencement of the expropriation procedure and obtaining of construction permit in the course of this month.

Construction of gas pipeline network in Macedonia is important for both the citizens and the economy. For the time being, there is gas pipeline network from the cross border with Bulgaria, through Kumanovo to Skopje.

Signing the Memorandum with “StroyТrans Gas” was agreed at the meeting Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had during the visit to Russia last week, when it was also agreed for Macedonia to join the South Stream Project.

Memorandum of Cooperation was signing within the 6th session of the Macedonian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation taking place in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on 2-3 July, within which perspectives for development of trade and economic cooperation between Macedonia and Russia are considered.

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