Serbia can cash in on Russian gas transit via TurkStream pipeline

The recently launched TurkStream gas pipeline running through Serbian territory will add €180 million (US$200 million) to the country’s budget, according to Andrey Khripunov, Russia’s trade representative in Serbia.

“I hope that the blue fuel will fill the pipeline soon. The country [Serbia] becomes a transit state, and according to the declared volume of natural gas pumping, annual budget revenues will amount to about 180 million euros,” Khripunov told Sputnik on Tuesday.

Gas delivered via the TurkStream will help both Serbian households and manufacturing plants, as they can get cheaper energy if they switch from coal and heating oil to gas. The trade representative noted that the project will also boost production in the country and make it more ecologically friendly.

The 930km pipeline that runs along the bottom of the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey was officially launched in January. TurkStream then stretches to Bulgaria, which is already receiving gas via the pipeline, but is yet to complete the section connecting it to the Serbian border.

Belgrade finished laying more than 400 kilometers of the pipeline through the country’s territory to the Hungarian border in December, but the unfinished Bulgarian section is stalling the long-waited gas imports.

Serbia expects the first deliveries by the end of the year, while the next country in line, Hungary, plans to be able to get natural gas from the TurkStream pipeline in 2021.

During the launch ceremony in Istanbul, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called the TurkStream project crucial for the economic and industrial progress of the country, as it will allow Belgrade to purchase gas at lower prices than before.


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