Serbia "in principle" interested in joining Turkish Stream

Serbia is interested in joining the Turkish Stream project, Serbian Ambassador to Russia Slavenko Terzic has said.

Izvor: B92

The planned pipeline would ship Russian natural gas to Turkey via the Black Sea and would represent a supply channel for consumers in Southeast Europe.

A new gas hub and storage should be built on the border between Turkey and Greece.

"A final decision has not been made, negotiations are still in progress, but in principle, Serbia is interested in joining this project," said Terzic.

According to him, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak is expected in Belgrade in late April or early May. The diplomat added he hoped that "Novak and Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic" would discuss the project then.

Turkish Stream should replace the failed South Stream pipeline, in which Serbia invested great hopes, but which Gazprom abandoned amid claims from the European Commission that its construction would violate EU law.

Terzic said that the move had "complicated the situation in Serbia in the field of energy security," and added:

"Turkish Stream will have a more complicated route and will have to pass through Turkey, which could block it, and will also go through Bulgaria and Macedonia."

According to earlier announcements, Turkish Stream should be completed by 2020 when Gazprom plans to discontinue shipments of Russian gas via Ukraine, which is another reason for EU's concern.

The Russian gas and oil giant and Turkey's Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation in December 2014 signed a memorandum of understanding.

Turkish Stream will have the capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas annually and will reach Turkey via the Black Sea, mainly along the route that was planned for South Stream. Approximately 660 kilometers of the pipeline follow the South Stream corridor, while 250 kilometers more will go along a new one, in the direction of the European part of Turkey.

The EU recently warned that the pipeline will have to be built in consultation with the EU and in compliance with legal obligations.

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