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Serbia’s South Stream section will be built on schedule — Russian diplomat

June 30, 2014, 16:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“The construction installation works will start in compliance with the results of the tender that will be announced shortly,” Russia’s Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Chepurin says
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© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The Serbian section of the South Stream gas pipeline is being built on schedule, Russia’s Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Chepurin has said.

“Serbia has not created any obstacles,” Chepurin told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak met with Serbian Minister of Energy and Mining Aleksandar Vucic in Moscow on June 20. “Serbia confirmed that it was ready to carry out the project according to schedule,” Chepurin said.

“The construction installation works will start in compliance with the results of the tender that will be announced shortly,” he said.

“Foreign investments are one of Serbia’s priorities,” Chepurin said.

At the same time, he said, “Serbia’s accession to the EU won’t solve deep problems. For 15 years Serbia has implemented two major projects: Fiat’s Italian assembly plant in Kragujevac and Russia’s Gazprom Neft’s oil refinery in Novi Sad.”

“Fourteen percent of Serbia’s budget is formed due to the Russian-Serbian ‘NIS’ JV. This proves that the (South Stream) project is efficient. This is more than one billion euro and benefits both Russia and Serbia,” Chepurin said.

“Russian-Serbian cooperation should be based on mutual benefit and there are possibilities for this,” he added.

“Serbia’s railways infrastructure is being reconstructed energetically due to Russia’s loan of $800 million,” Chepurin said.

“On May 23, Serbia asked for Russia’s assistance to repairing the Belgrade-Bar railway (Montenegro) due to devastating floods over the Balkan region. On May 30, Russian rescuers cleared up several sections and made up a plan for restoring the railway,” the high-ranking diplomat said.

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