Russian company Gazprom will not renounce the intermediary companies exporting natural gas to Romania. Gazprom did not seem interested to collaborate with Romania for investment projects, but the Russians want Romania to help construct the South Stream pipeline.

Gazprom head Aleksandr Medvedev said he was pleased with the intermediary companies, in an interview for Radio Romania Actualitati. Romanian authorities believe that if the intermediary companies are eliminated, the prices for imported gas, considered to be some of the highest in Europe, could drop. Medvedev agrees only with the fact that the prices are competitive. The medium price for the second semester was set to $370 for one thousand cube meters. Markets expect the gas price to drop to $220 by the end of 2009.

Romania presently imports one third of the country’s need. Gazprom says they could consider trading without mediator if Romania imported more. This would mean Romania would have to favour paying the Russians three times the cost of its own gas.

Russia expects the Romanian authorities to facilitate the construction of the South Stream pipeline, which will pass through Romania. South Stream aims to compete against Nabucco, the pipeline that is supposed to help the EU become less dependent on the Russian gas.

Romania wants a Russian partnership in building a gas depot in Roman-Margineni, a project that could be a win-win situation according to Romanian Ministry of Economy. Gazprom is currently analysing the proposal.