BELGRADE, February 8. /TASS/. The Serbian side is ready to begin the construction of its section of the TurkStream gas pipeine to run from the Bulgarian to the Hungarian border, national gas company Srbijagas has said.
"Serbia is ready for the construction of this project, the first 300 million euro have already been secured, the construction is to begin in late March or early April. The construction is to be completed by December 15," Srbijagas Director General Dusan Bajatovic said at a session of the parliamentary Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy on Thursday.
The official added that "there should be no obstacles" on behalf of the Energy Community, an international organization established between the European Union and a number of third countries to extend the EU internal energy market to Southeast Europe and beyond.
Earlier, the Energy Community’s secretariat has expressed its opinion on the project, which Serbia deemed favorable. This opinion should serve as a basis for a permission from Serbia’s energy authority. After that, the construction can begin.
Earlier, Bajatovic said that the Serbian stretch of TurkStream should began gas transit by late April 2020.
The issue of the possible extension of TurkStream to Serbia was one of the major ones at the negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on January 17. Answering a TASS question, Putin stated that Russia is ready for this project and may invest about $1.4 billion in the development of Serbia’s infrastructure to build a pipeline branch through this country. The Russian state leader noted that "many countries are interested" in the further extension of this pipeline to Europe, but everything should be properly registered.
TurkStream stipulates the construction of a pipeline along Black Sea bottom to the European part of Turkey and further on to the border with Greece. The first string will be used to deliver gas to the Turkish market, while the second will be used for gas supplies to countries of Southern and Southeastern Europe. Gazprom regards Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as potential markets.