17 June 2014, 12:37

Russia and Serbia reaffirm need to implement South Stream project - Lavrov

Russia and Serbia reaffirm need to implement South Stream project - Lavrov

Leaders of Russia and Serbia reaffirm the need to implement the South Stream project, the Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. The agreements between Moscow and Belgrade regarding the timeline of the South Stream pipeline construction remain in effect, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"All decisions made up until now remain in effect. No changes occurred in the plans of Russia and Serbia, which the two countries' companies have set. And we assume that everything remains the way we have agreed," Lavrov said at a news conference in Belgrade following talks with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic.

Moscow and Belgrade have confirmed commitment to the South Stream project, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We have confirmed the necessity to implement South Stream," Lavrov said following talks held at the foreign ministers' level in Belgrade.

Russia treats Serbia's stance concerning talks on accession to the European Union with respect, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

"We are treating Serbia's position concerning ongoing negotiations on accession to the EU with respect. This position stems from the unacceptability of any new dividing lines appearing in Europe," Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with his Serbian counterpart in Belgrade on Tuesday.

Serbia favors the creation of a common economic space, a project which has Russia's support as well, he said.

Russia treats Serbia's stance concerning talks on accession to the European Union with respect, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

"We are treating Serbia's position concerning ongoing negotiations on accession to the EU with respect. This position stems from the unacceptability of any new dividing lines appearing in Europe," Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with his Serbian counterpart in Belgrade on Tuesday.

Serbia favors the creation of a common economic space, a project which has Russia's support as well, he said.

Serbia sees no reasons that could stand in the way of building the South Stream gas pipeline in Europe, including across the territory of Serbia, Serbia's First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said at a press conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"If the Nord Stream [pipeline] has been constructed in Europe, I see no reason for South Stream not to appear," Dacic said.

When commenting on the construction of another gas pipeline, which is supposed to link Serbia's city of Nis with Bulgaria's Dimitrovgrad and Sofia, the minister said that "it is a separate project which has nothing to do with South Stream, the construction of which has not yet begun."

A European Union-funded Nis-Dimitrovgrad-Sofia gas pipeline, which is viewed by some officials as a rival project to South Stream, will be 180 kilometers long and will have a capacity of 1.8 billion cubic meters. The agreement endorsing the 120-million-euro project was signed by the prime ministers of Serbia and Bulgaria in 2012.

In early June, Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister for Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic publicly announced that Serbia needs another new gas pipeline in addition to South Stream, referring to the Nis-Dimitrovgrad-Sofia project.

Russian FM urges OSCE states to persuade Kiev to implement roadmap

Moscow expects member countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to influence Kiev in order to persuade it to commit to the OSCE roadmap, which was signed by the organization's Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter.

"So far, Kiev has refused to support this roadmap", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference after a meeting with his Serbian counterpart in Belgrade on Tuesday.

"We believe that all OSCE member states ought to exert their influence on Kiev," the Russian minister said.

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