September 23, 2008

Croatian, Russian Ministers Discuss Energy Infrastructure Projects

Text of report in English by Croatian state news agency HINA

ZAGREB, Sept 23 (Hina) - Croatian Economy, Labour and Enterprise Minister Damir Polancec and the Russian Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters, Sergei Shoigu, held talks on Monday on infrastructure projects in the energy sector.

Speaking to the press afterwards, Polancec said they agreed that the Druzba Adria oil pipeline project, the South Stream gas pipeline project, the privatisation of Croatian shipyards, and the renewal of Croatian oil company INA's contract with Gazprom would be discussed at the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Russia in the second half of November.

Polancec said positions on Druzba Adria could be re-examined if Russia was still interested in the project.

Shoigu said the South Stream project had already been ratified in Bulgaria and Serbia, and that he saw no obstacles to its implementation in Croatia.

Speaking of the INA-Gazprom contract, which expires at the end of 2010, Polancec said Croatia had requested a renewal of the contract and additional quantities of gas. He added that Croatia purchased 1.17 billion cubic metres of gas per year and would like to import 2.5 billion as of 2011.

Originally published by HINA news agency, Zagreb, in English 0726 23 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring European. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.