MOSCOW, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Top executives from Russia's Gazprom and Italy's Eni met in Russia to discuss outstanding issues involving the South Stream gas pipeline.
"The meeting focused on the progress with the South Stream gas pipeline construction project," Gazprom said in a statement. "The parties discussed the issues of preparation for the final investment decision to be made by the joint project company in relation to the offshore gas pipeline section."
Hungary and Serbia were the latest countries to give approval to the South Stream pipeline, which Gazprom said should start delivering natural gas by 2015.
Eni is a member of the project consortium alongside Gazprom and German energy company Wintershall.
South Stream, along with its northern counterpart Nord Stream, is part of Gazprom's efforts to diversify its European exports routes. European consumers get about 20 percent of their natural gas from Russia, though the bulk of that runs through the Soviet-era transit system in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said construction could begin this year.