"The implementation of the project to build the South Stream gas pipeline jointly with our Hungarian partners is an important element of the new architecture of European energy security. This system can ensure uninterrupted gas supplies and provide Hungary long-term benefits and stability,” Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said at the signing ceremony.
The South Stream pipeline is intended to transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas to central and southern Europe, diversifying Russian gas routes away from transit countries such as Ukraine.
Construction will start in December 2012. Russia plans to start using the pipeline in 2015.
The pipeline's core shareholders include Gazprom with 50 percent, Italy's Eni with 20 percent and Germany’s Wintershall Holding and France's EdF with 15 percent each.