Russia woos gas buyers on Balkan tour

The Associated Press
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, center, talks with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, left, in presence of Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki, right, at Ohrid Lake resort in southwestern Macedonia, Wednesday, April 20, 2011.  Lavrov is on a one-day official visit to Macedonia. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, center, talks with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, left, in presence of Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki, right, at Ohrid Lake resort in southwestern Macedonia, Wednesday, April 20, 2011. Lavrov is on a one-day official visit to Macedonia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Macedonia, and invited the tiny Balkan country to consider joining in the proposed South Stream gas pipeline project.

Lavrov is on tour of former Yugoslav states, and on Wednesday met with his Macedonian counterpart Antonio Milososki at this lakeside resort.

The South Stream pipeline will carry gas under the Black Sea directly to European Union and other countries. It's in competition with the EU and U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline project that would bring gas to Europe from the Caspian Sea region and the Middle East via Turkey and Bulgaria, and reduce Europe's reliance on Russian fuel.

Lavrov accused some European politicians of clinging to the "outdated logic" of urging countries in the region to choose between forging closer ties with the EU or Moscow.