"Gazprom hopes for Slovenia's joining number of participants of South Stream project, RIA Novosti reported. Gazprom OJSC board chairman Aleksey Miller stressed his opinion as a result of meeting with Slovenia's minister of economy Matej Lahovnik within Saint-Petersburg's international economic forum on June 4, the company's press-service said.
Gazprom agrees with development of South Stream project. The company managed to achieve mutually profitable agreements with partners from Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Greece within realization of the project and launch preparation of technical and economic assessment of corresponding sections of gas pipeline. South stream attracts other European countries. We hope that Slovenia will join number of its participants in the nearest future," Miller said.
Gazprom had an opportunity to assure that Slovenia's partners seriously consider this opportunity, Miller said in May. Slovenia is ready for signing the agreement on South stream that can be held in June 2009, Lahovnik said. "The agreement will be signed. Presently, editorial work is being conducted on the level of finance ministries. Tax issues are being solved," Lahovnik said.
This project is strategic for Slovenia, Slovenia's minister said. Gazprom signed package of documents on realization of South Stream gas pipeline project with Bulgarian, Greek and Serbian energy companies in Sochi on May 15. Gazprom signed the second addition to the memorandum on mutual understanding concerning further actions on realization of the project with Italian company Eni.
South Stream project includes onshore parts of gas pipeline via territory of the Russian Federation and several European countries, as well as offshore gas pipelines via the Black and Adriatic seas. Capacity of gas pipeline must hit 63 billion cubic meters per year. Cost will hit €8.6 billion.