9 Nov 2009 16:23

Austrian chancellor to discuss South Stream cooperation in Moscow

MOSCOW. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Russia-Austria cooperation in the South Stream project will be a key item on the agenda of Moscow negotiations of Austrian Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann on November 10-11, a Kremlin source told Interfax.

"South Stream may become a strategic area of Russia-Austria cooperation," he said.

"Russia and Austria agree that this project targeted at diversification of energy delivery routes will assist sustainable energy supply to Europe and unhampered transit of Russian gas to European buyers," the source said.

The sides are drafting an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the Austrian segment of the pipeline.

A feasibility study of the South Stream sectors to go across the sea and national territories of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Greece is being drafted. Turkey has permitted geological survey in its economic zone of the Black Sea.

Negotiations on the Austrian and Slovenian participation in the project continue. The 900-kilometer South Stream will bypass Ukraine. It will start from the Russian Black Sea coast, go to Bulgaria and reach southern Italy and Austria. The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters.

"Being a steady trade partner of Russia, Austria ranks 12th amongst investors," the source said. Amassed Austrian investments in Russia reached $3.9 billion in 2009 and $3.67 billion in the first half of 2009, including $2.23 billion in direct investments.