The joint venture could be set up in September.

Gazprom representatives refused to make any comments on the issue, saying they did not know the Romanian minister was going to make such an announcement.

Romgaz and Gazprom will have a direct long-term relationship by setting up a joint venture for building storage deposits and producing electricity,” declared Videanu last week.

The joint venture will be equally owned by the two companies, which will each share the investments and profits.

Videanu told NewsIn earlier last month that Romgaz could collaborate with Gazprom for the 600 MW electrical power plant in Iernut, central county of Mures.

The minister added Romania wants to construct or upgrade gas plants totaling 3,000 – 4,000 MW.

As for joining the South Stream project initiated by Gazprom in a bid to skirt Ukraine, the economy minister mentioned Romania was not invited to take part of it.

World’s largest gas producer solicited Romania for technical support in carrying works for South Stream pipeline, support which the Economy Ministry is willing to grant, according to a release from the ministry.

Videanu told NewsIn that the deal inked in Moscow with Gazprom representatives includes neither Romania’s participation in the South Stream pipeline, nor the renouncing of the main objective, Nabucco pipeline.

The South Stream pipeline will be constructed by Gazprom and Italian group ENI and link Russia with Italy by crossing Bulgaria and Greece and then with Austria by passing Bulgaria and Serbia. The project is estimated around 14 billion U.S. dollars.