Russian government provides backing for Blue Stream, EBRD extends funds

Aug 12, 1999 02:00 AM

The Russian government presidium has decided to provide federal backing to the Goluboi Potok (Blue Stream) project for the export of Russian gas to Turkey.
The resolution makes it incumbent on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hold talks on a special taxation system for the pipeline construction project with Turkish authorities. Previously, most government officials, including Viktor Kalyuzhny, fuel and energy minister, criticised both the project and the Gazprom company, which is in charge of this project. Some rumours held that Rem Vyakhirev, Gazprom's CEO, will be soon barred from running the company. However, Goluboi Potok obtained federal backing and currently, Gazprom welcomes the chance to forge ahead of its rivals, primarily, the American-Turkmen-Azerbaijani project for the supply of gas from Turkmenistan to Turkey.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will soon issue funds for the construction of the second pipeline arm to link Russia and Turkey, reported Yavuz Kylych, co-chairman of the Russian-Turkish business council.
EBRD approved a pipeline construction program and is ready to extend about $ 700 million for that purpose. The construction will involve Turkey, Russia and Ukraine, which have established the Transbalkan joint venture.
Pipeline construction is part of the Goluboi Potok (Blue Stream) project.
At present, Russia supplies about 6 bn cm of gas to Turkey and plans to increase exports to 30 bn cm.

Source: VREMYA MN, SEGODNYA via NewsBase
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