Now extension of the contract for transit of the Russian gas across the territory of Ukraine is actively discussed. It is no secret that the volume of the Ukrainian transit depends on construction speed of gas pipelines in the territory of the European countries which will become continuation of Nord Stream-2 and Turkish stream.

Continuation of Nord Stream-2 will pass across the territory of Germany and no problems are expected here. Another matter is the South of Europe where construction has not started yet. And there was a negative experience of a failure of the South Stream project.

It is accepted to accuse Bulgaria which after visit of the American senators withdrew the permission for construction of a gas pipeline across the territory of failure of implementation of the South Stream project. However stayed that fact «behind the scenes» that neighbors of Bulgarians are Serbians, also broke terms of the beginning of construction. The gas pipeline had to be under construction at the same time in the territory of both of these countries. In Bulgaria and Serbia festive events, at first constructions of the South Stream gas pipeline took place, but really works did not begin. As a result Gazprom had to reconsider a route of the gas pipeline and the Turkish Stream project was born.

At the end of last year construction of sea part of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline (2 threads 15.75 billion cubic meters each) was completed. The first thread will provide Turkey with gas. Gas transmission capacities in the territory of Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, on which transit of the Russian gas to Turkey today goes, will, as a result, be released. These capacities can be started in the reverse mode that gas went from Turkey to Bulgaria. The problem can arise at Hungary and Serbia who receive gas transit through Ukraine now. To attach them to «The Turkish stream» it is necessary to construct the connecting gas pipeline between Bulgaria and Serbia, and also to upgrade the Bulgarian and Serbian gas transmission systems to border with Hungary.

The leaders of Serbia like to say how they love Russia and about support of the Turkish Stream project. It is worth reminding that they in words supported also South Stream, but in practice did not take necessary steps for implementation of this project. In a case with The Turkish stream the situation probably repeats. In January of last year the president of Serbia Alexander Vuchich declared that building of continuation of The Turkish stream in the Serbian territory will begin in summer of 2018. In practice it did not occur. At the end of January, 2019 he declared that construction will begin in «some days or weeks». Then the head of the Serbian state company Serbiyagaz Dusan Bajatovic specified that construction will begin in March. However, in February he already began to speak about «the end of March — the beginning of April». And construction will come to the end, according to Dusan Bajatovic, by December 15 of the current year. It is obvious that it quite suits Gazprom at which at the end of 2019 expires the contract with Ukraine for gas transit. Whether the question consists in that Serbians will keep the promises?

Many people in our country love Serbia. It is enough to remember large-scale meetings of a protest against bombardments by aircraft of NATO of the territory of Serbia which took place in 1999 at the building of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Volunteers from Russia were at war on the party of orthodox Serbians against Catholics of Croats and the Bosnian Muslims during the Yugoslavian wars in the 1990s. However many people forget that the first «color revolution» occurred not in Kiev in 2004 but in Belgrade in 2000. As a result pro-American forces came to the power in Serbia. Formally Serbia is not included into NATO and the EU, but the leaders of this country constantly speak about the aspiration to join structure of the European Union. Moreover, the Serbian legislation practically for 100% is brought into accord with norms of the EU.

Characteristic detail — the military personnel of NATO possesses diplomatic status in the territory of Serbia. Russia asks from the leadership of Serbia to provide the same status to the staff of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations Center in the Serbian city of Nish, but it was ineffectual. The Russian rescuers repeatedly came to the rescue of Serbians in emergency situations, in particular, during a severe flood in 2014. However the diplomatic status was not deserved.

I often used to visit Serbia. At first you stay in euphoria. Serbians constantly say how they love Russia. However, soon they try to reduce conversation to the point: «I love Russia — give me some money». That moment I always wanted to tell, «I love Serbia — give me money». During the talks with Serbian economists and political scientists I came to know that practically all Serbian leaders are in these or those relations with representatives of intelligence services of the western countries. And nobody is confused. The more this or that person contacts to a large number of intelligence services, the more he is considered more authoritative. After all there is a demand on him.

Serbians very much like to tell about the superiority over Bulgarians. However, in case of building of continuation of The Turkish stream the Bulgarian company Bulgartransgaz plans to do it independently. And Serbiyagaz created for this purpose joint venture with Gazprom — Gaztrans.

My experience of cooperation with Serbians allows making the following forecast. They will constantly tell about difficulties which arise when building continuation of The Turkish stream and will try to extend from Gazprom and Russia maximum of money for «acceleration of this process». At the same time they will ask money from the curators from the USA, Great Britain and other countries that they detain construction. In these conditions it is impossible to tell precisely when gas from The Turkish stream comes to Hungary. It can turn out so that Hungary and Serbia will be simpler to be supplied with gas through Nord Stream-2.