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According to a statement made Russia's Ministry of Energy, Russia and Macedonia have signed a bilateral agreement, according to which the two nations will construct a South Stream gas line offshoot in order to deliver gas to the Balkan country. The document has been signed during a meeting of Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Macedonia's Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski. Apart from signing the agreement, parties discussed future cooperation in the field of fuel and energy.
The agreement is expected to boost energy security of the two nations and create favorable conditions for design, construction and operation of gas industry on Macedonia's territory.
Itar-Tass has previously reported that the document, drafted by Russia's Energy Ministry, entails creation of a joint company with ownership divided evenly between Gazprom and Macedonian Energy Resources stock with company in case of the South Stream offshoot is deemed viable.
The offshoot's route and its throughout are to be determined by the aforementioned companies based on prior analysis. Concrete figures and terms relating to gas shipments to Macedonia will be identified in contracts between Gazprom and Macedonian Energy Resources. Gazprom has sole control over throughput of the gas offshoot.
The document locks Macedonia's guarantee to not introduce any limits with regards to capital investments made by Russia into businesses on the territory of the country within the framework of the agreement; Macedonia is also required to facilitate a favorable customs and tax environment for its partner.