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Russia, Serbia to sign South Stream gas pipeline deal soon: Medvedev

English.news.cn   2014-07-08 04:08:24

MOSCOW, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday Russia and Serbia could sign agreements on the South Stream gas pipeline project "in the coming days," a major move towards Moscow's diversification of gas transit routes.

"The project is mutually beneficial ... We have made significant progress in the negotiations," Medvedev said after talks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic.

The South Stream project should not be politicized, a stance President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly voiced at various occasions, Medvedev said.

Vucic, for his part, said some technical issues remained but could be solved easily.

"We have four requests, our Russian friends agreed ... everything will be solved completely in the near future," RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.

In mid-June, Moscow accused the European Commission of attempting to coerce some participants of the South Stream pipeline project into withdrawing cooperation with Russia.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak then warned against the temptation to use geopolitical tools to change the balance between suppliers and clients, referring to Bulgaria, which has put the South Stream project on hold following a request from the European Commission.

The European Commission believed Russia's bilateral agreements with transit countries, namely Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia, were in breach of the European Union's Third Energy Package, which regulates that companies involved in gas production cannot be long-distance pipeline owners.

The South Stream pipeline is aimed to deliver Russian natural gas across the Black Sea to South and Central Europe. The pipeline construction was launched in 2012 with the first deliveries expected in 2016, and it is expected to become fully operational in 2018.

Editor: yan
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