Declaration supporting South Stream signed in Vienna

(PKS) Željko Sertić and his colleagues from Bulgaria and Hungary signed a joint declaration of support for the South Stream gas pipeline project.

Source: Tanjug

The declaration, signed on Thursday in Vienna, also backed "energy stability of the region."

The president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) Tanjug he believed the project would soon move forward because of Russia's interest to export gas, the EU's need for gas and regional needs in the Balkans, adding that Serbia would soon start all the work planned regarding the pipeline.

"South Stream is important to Serbia and the region for economic reasons, and Serbia should keep in mind the project, its ambitions towards EU membership and the European energy strategy in mind at the same," he stressed.

"Considering that the pipeline project has caused great problems between the EU and Russia, that the EU has its own energy strategy that has to be followed and that Russia is the biggest natural gas exporters, it is clear that South Stream will not exist without an agreement and common interest between the EU and Russia," he said.

The goal of the energy forums started by the chambers of commerce of Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary two months ago, which have so far been held in Varna, Belgrade and Vienna, is to clear up the legal circumstances and interests surrounding South Stream and find common interest between Russia and the EU, according to Sertić.

Although the Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary are of little importance in the conflict between the EU and Russia, the project will not come to life if they do not get involved, so they should be in it as good partners, he pointed out.

"A lot hangs on the completion of South Stream in Serbia and the project would provide us with a much higher level of energy stability, new jobs and infrastructure and budget revenue from the gas transit tax," he explained after a conference on the development of the energy market in Central and Southestern Europe, held in Vienna.

The goal of all the countries in the region is economic development, which cannot happen without a stable energy supply, and a lot of negotiating is needed to secure that, he underscored, adding that the next forum would be held in Budapest in early September.

The declaration signed in Vienna also points to the necessity of coordinating between Russia and the EU regarding the pipeline project, as well as that all those procedures have to be transparent.

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