BELGRADE, October 14. / TASS /. The Serbian part of the TurkStream gas pipeline will be finished by the end of this year, said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during a meeting with Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko on Monday.
Answering Matviyenko’s question whether the project will be completed in time and whether there are any questions to the Russian side, Vucic answered: "Dear Valentina Ivanovna, we will finish everything, as we promised, before the end of the year. But I think that the Bulgarians will not."
"We enjoy good cooperation with Hungary, and we need to do everything necessary about the Banatski Dvor storage facility. Moreover, this process needs to be accelerated. We have no other unresolved issues," he said.
In April, the Russian and Serbian presidents discussed the construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline. "Putin and Vucic talked about the energy cooperation and the pipeline. The Serbian president showed his Russian counterpart the first pictures from the construction site of the pipeline through Serbia. They spoke about the military-technical cooperation and the works that the Russian Railways company is doing on the Stara Pazova - Novi Sad railway section," Serbian Blic newspaper quoted its source as saying. Earlier, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic announced that the Serbian side began the construction of the Serbian part of the TurkStream line ahead of the completion of works on the Bulgarian section. On March 5, the Serbian Energy Agency greenlighted the construction works, which were set to begin in April. The joint venture of the Russian energy giant Gazprom and Srbijagas, Gastrans d.o.o. Novi Sad, will administer the construction of the pipeline running from the Bulgarian border to Hungary.
Earlier, General Manager of Srbijagas Dusan Bajatovic pointed out that the project's deadline was set as December 15. The TurkStream pipeline extension to Serbia was one of the key issues discussed at the negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic on January 17. The Russian leader pointed out that Moscow is ready for such a project and can invest around $1.4 billion to develop the Serbian infrastructure for the construction of the pipeline through the country.
The Serbian section of TurkStream is intended to begin near the town of Zajecar near the Bulgarian border and cross the border with Hungary near the town of Horgos. The pipeline's input capacity is expected to be around 13.88 mln cubic meters of gas per day, while the output capacity — around 10 mln cubic meters.
TurkStream is a gas pipeline that is being constructed under the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey and further on to the border with Greece, bypassing Ukraine. The first line is intended for the Turkish market, the second branch is going to supply the countries of Southern and Southeastern Europe. Gazprom considers Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as potential markets.