Greece joins new Russian gas pipeline project to Europe
BRICS post, June 19, 2015
Running out of options to keep his country afloat after talks with EU and IMF reached a deadlock, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has given the go-ahead on joining a pipeline from Russia to Europe via Turkey and Greece.
Russia and Greece have signed a deal to create a joint enterprise for construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline across Greek territory, Russian media reports said on Friday.
Russian and Greek Energy Ministers, Alexander Novak and Panagiotis Lafazanis signed a memorandum on construction of the extension of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in Moscow on Friday.
“The pipeline will connect not only Greece and Russia, but also the peoples of Europe. Our message that it is a message of stability and friendship… The pipeline we are beginning today is not against anyone in Europe or anyone else, it is a pipeline for peace, stability in the whole region,” Greek Minister Lafazanis was quoted by Russian state agency Sputnik.
Construction of the Greek section of the pipeline will begin in 2016.
Putin earlier this year promised Tsipras “hundreds of millions of euros every year” for gas transit to the EU if Greece signed on.
Russian state gas company Gazprom has said it will guarantee to ship as much as 47 billion cubic meters of fuel per year after Greece joins the proposed gas-pipeline project.
Construction of the pipeline in Greece will be financed by Russia, and Athens will return the money afterward, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed the project after the European Union blocked Russia’s planned $45-billion South Stream link.
The Greek part of the route may cost an estimated 2 billion euros, Alexey Miller, Gazprom chief executive officer said earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met new representatives of the $100 billion BRICS Bank on Friday, according to Greek news agency ANA-MPA.
Newly appointed BRICS Bank President and Vice President Kundapur Vaman Kamath and Paulo Nogueira Batista were part of the group of BRICS officials Tsipras met in Saint Petersburg.
“Greece is at a difficult point, and to overcome it, it needs to ‘divorce’ the illnesses of the past,” Tsipras told reporters.
TBP and Agencies