"Nothing is holding back South Stream project"

(Tanjug. file)

"Nothing is holding back South Stream project"

BELGRADE -- There are no misunderstandings between the Serbian and Russian partners regarding the South Stream gas pipeline project, says Dušan Bajatović.

The director of the state-run natural gas enterprise Srbijagas added that the the project was not being held back by problems in funding and provision of guarantees for loans.

Speaking at a Russian-Serbian round table on energy in Belgrade on Thursday, Bajatović said that he expects appropriate solutions regarding a loan agreement for the project to be found next week, adding that the agreement will be signed soon.

This, he said, has also been confirmed by First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić.

Bajatović said that the technical part of the tender for contractors in the construction of the section of South Stream through Serbia has been completed and the contractors will be chosen by the end of April.

This will create the conditions for the works to commence immediately after that, he added.

He pointed out that there have been neither significant delays nor holding back the South Stream project, but rather only a small deviation from the original plan of procedures, as it is vital to negotiate the financial part of the loan agreement carefully.

Bajatović said that the Serbian government has done everything to put this project to implementation. He pointed out that the loan, which Gazprom offered Srbijagas, amounts to about EUR 270 million, and is favorable given a fixed annual interest rate of 4.25 percent and a repayment period of 15 years.

Gazprom has not demanded a state guarantee for this loan, Bajatović said, adding that the original intention of...

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