253 words - May 22, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
In February, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki told news agency ITAR-TASS his country's future energy cooperation with Russia will mainly depend on reaching an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of a branch of the South Stream pipeline in Macedonia.
In March, Mr. Poposki told the Russian Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr. Oleg Shcherbak, that "successfully implementing the projects for supplying Macedonia with Russian natural gas and connecting the country to the South Stream gas pipeline," would greatly advance the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. In the meantime, Mr. Poposki announced that Macedonia decided to unilaterally and provisionally abolish visas for Russian nationals. Connecting Macedonia to the South Stream pipeline was again on the agenda of Mr. Poposki's meeting with a delegation of Russia's State Duma led by Mr. Alexander Balberov.
Lastly, on May 18, the government of Macedonia ratified the final text of Agreement with Russia "on the construction of gas pipeline leg from South Stream towards the Republic of Macedonia," announced Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski. "The date for agreement signing is being currently defined, but it is likely to be signed in June in St. Petersburg," Mr. Stavreski told reporters. In an interview with news agency MIA, he explained that "that by 2030 the necessary quantities of gas which would be provided would amount 2.5 billion cubic meters, and that the operator of the gas pipeline in Macedonia will be 50-50 Macedonian - Russian joint company."
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