Serbian Minister Says South Stream Route 'Not Finally Decided Yet'

Serbian Energy Minister Petar Skundric said in Nis that the route of the South Stream gas pipeline was not finally decided yet and that the exact route would be known only after a feasibility study was drawn up.

"There is still no key document that should confirm that the route of the South Stream gas pipeline through Serbia should go by way of Zajecar and not Dimitrovgrad; a feasibility study is in the process of being drawn up," Skundric said in a meeting at the Nisavski District Centre in Nis.

The energy minister said that talks about the route of the pipeline would continue and that Serbia would strive for "possibly changing the route" to go by way of Dimitrovgrad and Nis and on to Bar in Montenegro and Bari in Italy.

He said that the most important thing was to carry out the gasification of Serbia before South Stream was built and that not a single municipality in Serbia should be left out of the gasification project.

Skundric "promised" that 400 million euros for the gasification of Serbia would be secured over the next two or three years and that the gasification would be carried out within the next three to five years.

He had talks in the Nisavski District Centre today also with representatives of several southeastern Serbian districts, as well as mayors and assembly deputies in that part of Serbia.

Nebojsa Randjelovic, assembly member from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), walked out of the meeting because he was dissatisfied with the way in which the meeting was being run and the fact that the LDP caucus leader in the Nis City Assembly had not been invited to attend. 

BBC Monitoring. Copyright BBC.