№10 October 2009
Russia, Austria urge states to expedite South Stream deal
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann urged both their governments to expedite work on an agreement to build the Austrian section of a gas pipeline to southeast Europe.
"A special agreement is now being drafted between our countries on the project's implementation and the federal chancellor and I spoke for finishing the work on the document within a short period of time," Putin said after talks in Moscow with Faymann.
The South Stream gas project, scheduled to be completed by 2015, is part of Russia's efforts to cut dependence on transit nations. It is a rival project to the EU-backed Nabucco, which would bypass Russia.
The 25 billion-euro ($36.5 bln) project is designed to annually pump 31 billion cubic meters of Central Asian and Russian gas to the Balkans and on to other European countries, bypassing Ukraine, which has frequent disputes with Russia over gas supplies and transits.
The pipeline's capacity is expected to be eventually increased to 63 billion cubic meters.On May 15, Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a package of project-related documents with Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia. Similar agreements are now being coordinated with Slovenia and Austria.
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