SOUTH STREAM: SERBIA START
Gazprom is working with Serbia to kickstart construction works of the local leg of the South Stream project, with newspapers reporting that the operations could start as soon as in October.
'The parties discussed the main areas and outlooks of the cooperation in the energy sector, placing an emphasis on the South Stream construction. At present, the parties involved in the project are finishing the preparation of the intergovernmental agreement providing for joint construction and subsequent operation of a gas branch from the gas trunkline to Republika Srpska as well as boosting the gas-based power industry in the country,' reads a note released by Gazprom on Tuesday, referring to a meeting between Gazprom's Alexey Miller and Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska.
According to the press release, the meeting participants signed the Basic Terms and Conditions of natural gas supply to the country.
Meanwhile, local media said that the construction work in Serbia will start regardless the settlement of the controversies in Bulgaria. Gazprom's officials see operations to start in October.
RUSSIAN DECISIONS TO AFFECT ENERGY SECURITY OF EU, SAYS UKRAINE
The long distance arm-wrestling between Kiev and Moscow continued also on Wednesday, with Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coal Industry saying that the decrease in volumes poses a threat for energy security in Ukraine and in the European Union.
'The Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Yurii Prodan sent a letter to the Vice-President of the European Commission Günther Oettinger. The reason is the concern of Ukraine regarding the transit of Russian natural gas via the territory of Ukraine and the Slovak Republic,' reads another communiqué published on Wednesday.
Ukrainian authorities lamented possible backlashes of Russian decisions on Ukraine, saying that the decrease in volumes through Ukraine and Slovakia and the simultaneous increase through Yamal-Europe and Nord Stream pipelines are dangerous also for Brussels.
'Moreover, in the letter Yurii Prodan appeals to the European Commission with a request to contribute to settlement of the situation which occurred in order to resume and normalize transit deliveries of the Russian gas through the territory of Ukraine and the Republic of Slovakia.'
Other reports indicate that Ukrainian authorities are mulling the possibility of importing natural gas from Norway.
On the other hand, Russian authorities said that gas supplies are not breaking any contract.
'Mr Miller reported in particular that gas supplies to European consumers are going ahead in accordance with contract obligations and updated the President on talks on gas supplies to China and on the company's gas production plans this year,' the Kremlin wrote on its website, referring to a meeting between Gazprom's Miller and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.