MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will meet with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Wednesday to discuss Russian gas supplies to Europe, the Russian government's press service has said.
The issue was raised at Faymann's meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday. Russia supplies up to 90% of natural gas consumed in Austria.
The two heads of governments are set to discuss the draft Russian-Austrian intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the Austrian section of the South Stream pipeline.
The South Stream gas project, scheduled to be completed by 2015, is part of Russia's efforts to cut dependence on transit nations. It is a rival project to the EU-backed Nabucco, which would bypass Russia.
The 25 billion-euro ($36.5 billion) project is designed to annually pump 31 billion cubic meters of Central Asian and Russian gas to the Balkans and on to other European countries, bypassing Ukraine, which has frequent disputes with Russia over gas supplies and transits. The pipeline's capacity is expected to be eventually increased to 63 billion cubic meters.
On May 15 Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a package of project-related documents with Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia. Similar agreements are now being coordinated with Slovenia and Austria.
The two officials are also expected to discuss measures to increase and diversify bilateral trade, which totaled $5.4 billion in 2008.