News // Politics
Bulgaria and Serbia ink memorandum of understanding on gas interconnector
20 January 2017 , 10:10Neftegaz.RU892
Bulgaria and Serbia's Energy Ministers are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the construction of a gas link between the 2 countries, Bulgarian officials said on January 19, 2017.
«This is a very important day for Serbia and Bulgaria,» Serbian Energy minister Antic said after signing the memorandum with his Bulgarian counterpart Petkova.
Bulgarian Minister Petkova and her Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Antić, who inked the MoU representing the 2 countries, will work to begin construction by May 2019 at the latest and have it operational by the end of 2020.
The 1st phase of the interconnector with Serbia was finished on December 31, 2015 using EU funding from the last program period (2007-2013).
More EU money is to be sought for the 2nd phase through Operational Program Innovations and Competitiveness under the current period (2014-2020).
Serbia, which hopes to wrap up its EU membership talks by 2019, is under pressure from Brussels to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, which accounts for more than 80 % of its needs, to join the bloc.
Bulgaria, which still gets over 95 % of its gas from Russia's Gazprom, has opened a gas link with neighbouring Romania and is working to connect its gas network with neighbouring Greece and Turkey to diversify its suppliers.
To read this news in Russian.
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