Skopje, 14th March 2013 (MIA) – Agreement on Joining of Macedonia to the "South Stream" gas pipeline is in its final stage. Last harmonization of the Agreement was carried out and it is expected to be soon ratified by the Russian Federation and afterwards by the Macedonian Government as well.

This was announced by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavresk, following the promotion of the Project for construction of new facility of the Primary School “Grigor Prlicev” in Zelezara settlement.

– We paid visit to Moscow, whereby thorough harmonization with the Agreement with “Gazprom” was carried out. We expect for it to be now ratified on the part of the Russian Federation and afterwards by us as well, thus we reached the final stage, Stavreski said, adding that the time of its ratification depends on the Russian Federation, i.e. when they ratify it, Macedonian Government will complete it in two days.

Draft Agreement for joining of Macedonia to this Project was submitted in July last year. Macedonia will be included in the gas pipeline with a leg, rather than as transit, a decision reached by the Russian company, which believed that this was the most feasible and most cost-effective solution. The location of the leg will be additionally determined.

Construction of “South Stream” gas pipeline started in December last year. Total investment in "South Stream” amounts to EUR 25 billion, and the gas will start flowing in 2015. Corridor 3,600 kilometers below Black Sea should connect the Russian sources of gas with Southeast Europe, regardless of Ukraine. "South Stream” is envisaged to satisfy 14% of the gas needs of the European Union.

Gas pipeline will pass through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy, while the other states will be connected through the legs.
Russian “Gazprom” are South Stream” shareholders, owning half of the ownership in the mutual company, while the other half is owned by the Italian ENI, French EDF and the German BASF.

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