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Energy Minister confirms Athens will move ahead with Greek Stream in the face of immense US pressure to back down

Energy Minister confirms Athens will move ahead with Greek Stream in the face of immense US pressure to back down

The Greek Energy Minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, has officially stated that the negative attitude of Washington towards Greece’s initiative to build the Greek Stream energy pipeline would not make Athens change its mind on the project.

Lafazanis correctly noted that the pipeline is beneficial for both Greece and for the whole region.

We would take it a step further and say at this point the Greek Stream pipeline, along with China’s massive investment in Greece’s Piraeus port, are the only significant investments being made in the EU member state.

Via Sputnik News Agency…

“Unfortunately, as to the pipeline with the Russian gas, the position of the United States is negative. The US side took this position officially during the recent meeting I personally had with the US official responsible for energy issues,” Lafazanis said.

“For all these reasons, we support the pipeline, we want it to be laid across the Greek soil and we are convinced that it would be an input to all the European nations and to Europe as such and we fully disagree with the position of the United States on this issue.”

“The Russian pipeline, which will replace the Ukrainian transit road of the natural gas, is absolutely necessary for the energy security in Europe. This means that it has to be welcomed by all the EU member states and by the European peoples who understand the needs of having uninterruptable supplies of cheap natural gas,” Panagiotis Lafazanis said.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in April that the Turkish Stream may be extended to Austria through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.

Later that month, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Moscow can guarantee annual supplies of up to 47 billion cubic meters of gas to European customers through gas transit infrastructure that is to be built in Greece.

“Without the pipeline with the Russian natural gas, the demand that exists in Europe cannot be satisfied, especially in Central Europe.”

Lafazanis stressed, however, that the proposed Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the Turkish Stream pipeline will not be competitive, as each of them will have an own role to play.

“TAP is a pipeline which will pass through Greece, of course, but it cannot satisfy the huge demands in natural gas of the European states and peoples,” Lafazanis said, adding that the project would not be an alternative to the Turkish Stream.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline is a 2,170-mile project to transport Azerbaijan’s natural gas to Europe.

The Greek extension of a pipeline to pump Russian natural gas through Turkey to consumers in southern Europe could cost about 2 billion euros (some $2.2 bln), Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told Sputnik on Friday.

“We have not discussed yet how exactly the project will be financed. But we already know that the approximate cost of the pipeline will be around 2 billion euros and its construction will create about 20 000 working places,” Lafazanis said.

An agreement on the construction of the Greek extension of a proposed pipeline to pump Russian natural gas through Turkey to consumers in southern Europe could be signed at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum on June 18-20, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told Sputnik on Friday.

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“Right now we are at the analysis and planning stage. A transnational agreement on the pipeline is at the final stages. We hope it will be signed soon,” Lafazanis said.

“I do not exclude the possibility of signing the agreement at the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on June 18-20,” the minister clarified.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tripras will visit the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told Sputnik Friday, adding that he will also be present.

“Of course, we have given our positive answer to the invitation to the forum. The Greek presence will be very significant. The Greek prime minister will be present at the forum and he will come with a big delegation of ministers,” Lafazanis said.

As a reminder, the Turkish Stream is a substitute for the South Stream pipeline project, which Moscow cancelled in December 2014, as the European Union retroactively modified a signed contract in order to appease its Washington rulers.

Turk Stream is projected to have an annual capacity of some 63 billion cubic meters and will run from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea. It will end in a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border, from where Greece will continue the pipeline on into the heart of Southern Europe.

References:

http://sputniknews.com/business/20150529/1022727025.html

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