Macedonia is ready to take part in the construction of the Turkish stream natural gas pipeline once Russia and Brussels reach an agreement on the strategic project, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has announced.
“Our position is
that when Brussels and Moscow reach an agreement on this project,
we will take part in it,” Gruevski told Press24 portal.
“As a country aiming to join the European community, these
are exactly the guidelines we follow when making strategic
Following the abandonment of the South Stream gas pipeline
project in December 2014, Moscow has switched its resources
towards constructing the Turkish Stream as an alternative.
At present, Athens and Moscow are working out the details to
construct a segment of the pipeline starting on the Greek-Turkish
border that will enable supplies to the EU. The Greek segment of
the gas system is projected to run to the Macedonian border.
The Gruevski-led government, which has seen massive uprisings
against it in recent weeks, in the past opposed Western sanctions
against Russia and supported the Turkish Stream construction.
“If you look at the geography of the region, Macedonia is the
best place for constructing the extension of the newest energy
infrastructure project in the region, the so-called Turkish
Stream,” Russia’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov
told Bloomberg last week.
Last Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed
that “the Macedonian events are blatantly controlled from the
outside” to pressure Skopje, among other things, to opt out
of the Turkish Stream project.
Meanwhile Gruevski said that Macedonia will not face any serious
problems re: gas supply over the next 10 years, as it consumes
less than projected. However he says the largest problem for the
country now is the high price of gas.