SKOPJE, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) has provided a grant worth 35.4 million euros (41 million U.S. dollars) to Macedonia to build express way of Gradsko-Drenovo, Macedonian transport minister Goran Sugareski said Wednesday.
"The European Union, supporting the efforts of the new Macedonian government, made a decision to give us a grant ... in the amount of 35.4 million euros, to join the financing of the expressway from Gradsko to Drenovo," Sugareski told reporters.
The grant was provided by the EU under the Pre-accession Instrument (IPA) funds, within the Sectoral Operational Program for Transport 2014-2020, according to the minister.
Thus, as minister explained, the first phase of Gradsko from Drenovo will be built with the EU grant. The second phase, the construction from Farishka to Drenovska gorge, was in progress.
While for the third phase up to Prilep, Sugareski said that authorities here were still negotiating with the European Union for some other additional funds.
He said construction of this express way was expected to begin by the end of the year while connection between Gradsko and Prilep would be completely finished by the end of 2019 or early 2020.