Gazprom technicians delegation to visit Romania in March

A delegation of Gazprom technicians will visit Romania in March to examine the possibilities for cooperation between Romania and Russia on South Stream project, after the Russian side officially invited Romania’s Transgaz company to take part in the project, Minister of Economy, Trade and Business Climate Adriean Videanu told a news conference on Friday.

‘Romania will be interested in analysing any initiative likely to contribute to the energy safety of Romania and of the European Union, including the projects that have a positive impact on a regional level. I have made available to Gazprom all the information they asked for so that the feasibility studies for South Stream may be finalised. There are two technical elements left that we’ll present in 14 days.

Gazprom Export president and Gazprom vice president Alexander Medvedev handed me the invitation to Transgaz to take part in South Stream. We’ll examine it with interest and we’ll make a decision also depending on the additional data’, Videanu said. He announced that a Gazprom technicians delegation will visit Romania in March to examine the technical aspects.

‘The Russian side voiced readiness to discuss about the cooperation with Romania given that the Nabucco pipeline project and South Stream are not competing each other but, in their opinion, they are complementary given the contracts signed with the European Union countries for gas shipments. The infrastructure in Ukraine merely provides the possibility to honour the contracts signed with Russia by 2030.

When a Gazprom technicians’ delegation comes to Romania in March we’ll be able to put concrete touches to our collaboration’ decided on during Wednesday’s talks with Gazprom officials, Videanu said, adding that the discussions had set the prerequisites for long-term collaboration. Romania made available Russian gas monopoly Gazprom all the relevant documentation required to build South Stream gas pipeline on the Romanian territory, a move that seems to substantiate Moscow’s recent threat to take Bulgaria out of this project.

‘The Romanian side confirmed its interest in taking part in South Stream project and offered the Russian side the previously requested information and it asked for working out a feasibility study for a possible pipeline route in Romania’, Gazprom said in a press release. Few details are known for the moment and it is not clear whether the Bulgarian pipeline will be extended to Romania or whether the plans to move the pipeline to the north exclude Bulgaria from this project.

South Stream project conceived to carry 31 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Central Asia and Russia to the Balkans is backed by Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Italy and Greece. South Stream will start in Russia and will reach Bulgaria via the Black Sea, wherefrom it will be divided into two branches: one towards Greece and Italy and the second towards Serbia, Hungary and Austria.

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