EUROASIA: Russia awarded gas supply route

Russia yesterday won the right to use a major gas supply route to Europe through its ally Serbia, a move analysts described as marking a Kremlin victory in a "pipeline war" with the European Union.

The gas agreement, signed in the Kremlin before President Vladimir Putin and visiting Serbian leaders, alarmed the United States because it increased Moscow's control over energy supplies to Europe and could undermine a rival European Union project.

Strong Russian opposition to independence for the Serbian province of Kosovo was a key bargaining chip in the agreement for Serbia to join the South Stream gas pipeline. Belgrade also agreed to sell a majority stake in Serbia's oil monopoly NIS to Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Source: Gulf Daily News
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