Transportation Minister Blagoja Bocvarski claimed that Macedonia will become a major regional player in the natural gas market with the completion of the linkage between its cities and the link to Greece.

Macedonia currently has a badly underdeveloped network, with supply from Russia, through Bulgaria, leading to Kumanovo and Skopje. A project to connect other cities is partially completed, with links from Skopje to Tetovo, south toward Bitola and Stip. A link to Greece should provide gas from Azerbaijan or through a planned LNG plant.

Soon we will link up with Greece and we will have two sources of gas. Our country is becoming a serious player on the gas market. This project will continue toward Kosovo, which will be supplied through us, and them to Montenegro. We will have gas all over our country, Bocvarski said.

As a result of the lack of natural gas, much of Macedonia uses wood and even coal for heating, leading to a chronic air pollution problem during the winter. Under international pressure, the Russia backed South Stream pipeline, which under one project was supposed to cross through Macedonia, is being abandoned.