Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom and Romania have started negotiations on Romania's joining the South Stream pipeline network and will in the next several months calculate how much the construction of the transit pipeline will cost, Gazprom said on Wednesday.
The South Stream project, estimated at 25 billion euros, is a new natural gas pipeline network that will connect Russia and the European Union via the Black Sea and the Balkans, bypassing Ukraine.
Gazprom said in a statement last week it was ready to start construction of the South Stream pipeline in 2013.
In April this year, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Romania could not replace Bulgaria in the South Stream gas project but a gas pipeline extension could be built for it across sea or from Bulgaria.
Miller said the South Stream was intended to be built across Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and further extend to southern Italy. A pipeline section could be built from Hungary to Austria and from Bulgaria to Greece.
Miller said that some other countries were interested in joining the project and gas pipeline extensions could be built for them.
MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti)