Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic discussed the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project at a joint press conference in Sochi on Wednesday.
«We reached an agreement to increase the capacity of underground gas storages located in Serbia from 750 million cubic meters to 2 billion cubic meters,» the Russian leader said.
«We are convinced that the... Еще implementation of these large-scale energy projects will help to significantly strengthen the energy security of not only Serbia, but also the entire Balkan region, and Europe as a whole,» he added.
Putin also commented on the ongoing talks between Moscow and Kiev on a new gas transit agreement.
«I constantly repeat that we are ready to preserve Ukrainian transit, we are currently negotiating this in Vienna, this is no secret. True, the conditions offered to us by Ukrainian potential transit partners are not economically acceptable for us so far,» he said.
Serbian President Vucic on his part said he had received guarantees from Putin that Serbia would continue to receive gas regardless of the outcome of Russia-Ukraine talks.
The TurkStream project consists of two lines responsible for delivering gas from Russia to Turkey and for transit of Russian gas to Europe via Turkey, bypassing Ukraine.
The Kremlin announced on Monday that Putin is to travel to Turkey for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 8, with the TurkStream gas pipeline expected to be opened on the same day.