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    Serbia Wants South Stream Construction to Start as Soon as Possible: Envoy

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    Belgrade urges Moscow to begin the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline in Serbia immediately. Bulgaria so far remains the only country that opposes the project.

    MOSCOW, November 25 (Sputnik) — Serbia is ready to start the construction of the South Stream pipeline, designed to deliver Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine, the country's Ambassador to Russia Slavenko Terzic told Sputnik Tuesday.

    "They [Russian energy company Gazprom] have fixed dates [for the start of construction works] before, but have delayed them time after time … There is no hesitation; we are waiting for this and we are ready. Let's begin," Terzic said, asked about the time frame of the pipeline's construction.

    On Monday, Gazprom's head of relations with Russian authorities Vladimir Markov said that the South Stream's construction would start on December 15 with a possible delay of one month. He also reiterated that Bulgaria is the only country that has suspended its participation in the project.

    Russia's Gazprom announced that work was starting on the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline in 2012. The pipeline's projected route starts in southern Russia, goes through the Black Sea, comes ashore in Bulgaria and continues to Serbia, where it divides into several branches as it travels further into Europe. South Stream is expected to be fully operational by 2018.

    Brussels has long endeavored to hamper the project, saying it violates the European Union's Third Energy Package, which stipulates that pipelines in its member countries cannot belong to natural gas producers. Moscow insists that the construction of the pipeline does not contradict the regulations.

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    South Stream gas pipeline (50)

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    South Stream gas pipeline, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia
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