Serbia has started construction of its section of the TurkStream pipeline to carry Russian natural gas to Europe, the country's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Wednesday.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Dacic said Serbia's plans for the construction of the gas conduit did not hinge on Bulgaria's own work to complete Sofia's section. The TurkStream will carry Russian gas via a pipeline under the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine and onward through Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.
"We will not wait when the Bulgarian part is constructed. We have already started the construction works of the Serbian part of the TurkStream," Dacic told reporters. "We discussed the progress of TurkStream project implementation, including prospects of its prolongation to Europe and specifically to Serbia," Lavrov said. On March 5, the Serbian Energy Agency approved the construction of the Serbian section of the TurkStream.
The final weld that connects the offshore and nearshore sections of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project was completed last month. With the completion of the receiving terminal in Turkey's Kıyıköy later this year, TurkStream will be ready to commence operations. Natural gas flow through TurkStream is planned to start by the end of 2019. The TurkStream project is an export gas pipeline consisting of two 930-kilometer lines, each with the capacity to carry 15.75 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The pipelines cross beneath the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further extend to the latter's borders with neighboring European countries.
TurkStream's first line is intended for gas supplies to the Turkish market, while the second will supply gas to south and southeastern Europe. The second line is expected to route from Turkey through Bulgaria, then to Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia.
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