As of October, Russian gas will start flowing through Serbia to Central Europe, bypassing Ukraine. All because of the Balkan Stream pipeline, which is an extension of the Turkish Stream.

The state-owned company Srbijagas and the Hungarian company FGSZ have announced the linking of the Balkan Stream pipeline with the Hungarian gas mains. As of 1 October, the first batches of transit gas will start flowing through Serbia to Central Europe.

According to Srbijagas CEO Dusan Bayatovic, Serbia can finally solve the problem of finding an alternative route for gas supplies to the Ukrainian one.

“No one will freeze in Serbia anymore, and gas prices for households will not change from autumn either,” Bayatovic assured as quoted by Unian agency.

Ferenc Szabolcs, a representative of Hungarian company FGSZ, praised the crossing of the two gas pipelines at the border and noted that it means the imminent completion of the project and the start of gas deliveries.

Russia is the sole supplier of natural gas to Serbia, which in recent years has received more than 2 billion cubic metres of Russian gas a year through a pipeline via Ukraine and Hungary.

The first official delivery of Russian gas to the Serbian system via Bulgaria from the Turkish Stream gas pipeline was on 1 January. In the first stage, the pipeline will provide about 4 billion cubic metres of gas per year, which will fully cover Serbia’s natural gas demand.

By Martin Chomsky