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25 Jan, 2008 08:05

Pipeline secured as Gazprom snaps up Serbian gas company

The Presidents of Russia and Serbia are meeting in Moscow on Friday to sign a major oil and gas agreement. The deal paves the way for Russian energy giant Gazprom to build a branch of the multi-billion dollar South Stream pipeline in Serbia.

The South Stream pipeline will be a new gas delivery route to Western Europe.

Belgrade agreed to the deal on Tuesday, allowing Gazprom to buy a controlling 51 per cent stake in Serbia's major oil and gas company NIS.

The agreement also allows Russia to build a huge underground gas storage facility in the north of Serbia.

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic believes the deal secures long-term energy stability in the Balkans.