Macedonia’s inclusion in ‘South Stream’ project and construction of national gas pipeline network project are of significant strategic importance for the Republic of Macedonia which will place Macedonia in international transport corridors and will provide stable source of gas for the future generations. Partnership with Russia in this context is of essential importance.
Deputy PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski said this in the interview with the Russian news agency ITAR TASS where he adds that Stroytransgaz company expert team is expected to arrive in Macedonia by mid of August for a final talks and offer for construction of national gas pipeline network in Macedonia. We expect the agreement to be signed by year-end after which network construction will begin. In the meantime Macedonia side is undertaking all necessary activities to begin with expropriation procedures and getting construction licence, Stavreski said.
He said that the energy is the sector in which Macedonian – Russian cooperation has made significant progress. In 2010 we have succeeded to close enormous issue – agreement for use of US$60 million from Russia’s clearing debt towards Macedonia for realisation of the national gas pipeline network in Macedonia was signed. During the meeting with PM Nikola Gruevski, Russian President Vladimir Putting expressed support and pledge for Macedonia’s joining in the ‘South Stream” corridor and sooner start of gasification project in Macedonia. Russian side handed over draft agreement for Macedonia’s inclusion in ‘South Stream’ to Macedonian government delegation during the visit to Russia two weeks later. Once the Macedonian side agrees on draft-agreement we will sign it and Russian – Macedonian mixed company in charge of realisation of Macedonian leg of ‘South Stream” will be established, Stavreski said.
Stavreski pointed out agriculture, real estate, tourism, mineral raw materials and pharmacy as sectors, which could be attractive for Russian capital. He said that Macedonia has surpassed the handicap of small market as we have signed free trade agreements with all European states. We hope that such agreement we will sign with the Russian Federation as well which would enable significant increase of trade exchange, Stavreski pointed out.
He said that the relations between the two counties have long tradition of friendship, understanding and cultural closeness. Two countries are interested and urge for intensifying of cooperation on political, economic and cultural plan, he said.
Large Russian market is a challenge. Macedonia can offer much more on your market, especially agricultural products, wine and food, pharmaceutical and other products. That’s why through participation at fairs and organised event by Macedonian companies, we are making efforts to realise the necessary contacts for promotion and distribution of the Macedonian products on the Russian market, Finance Minister Stavreski said in the interview with ITAR TASS.