Greece intends to purchase Azerbaijani gas, not damaging projects with Russia: PM
Greece intends to buy gas from Azerbaijan, but not bringing damage to the joint energy projects with Russia, said on Feb. 17 in Athens the Prime Minister of Greece, Kostas Karamanlis, after meeting with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, RIA Novosti reports.
"The developing negotiations of Greece with Azerbaijan do not mean strategy change in our policy," Karamanlis replied to the question of journalist whether Athens intends to change approach to the energy co-operation with Russia.
"The supply of natural gas from Azerbaijan at the bilateral level within the agreement, for which we strive, or at the multilateral level through the planned gas pipeline, which will connect Turkey, Greece and Italy (TGI), has always been in the center of our policy. Naturally we discussed these concrete themes with Aliyev, and especially advancement of plans on TGI," said Karamanlis.
"With regards to our relations with Russia, as you know, they are on a splendid level, and on the basis of the planned plan, we move towards realization of two large-scale projects, which will also contribute to the diversification of the sources of energy and routes of import of oil and gas to Europe," Greek Prime Minister said, speaking of South Stream pipeline project Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.
Karamanlis also emphasized that Greece intended to buy gas in Azerbaijan.
"Greece will be the first country of Europe, which will import natural gas directly from Azerbaijan via TGI pipeline," said Prime Minister. He did not specify volumes of gas are planned to be purchased from Azerbaijan.
Together with Russia and Bulgaria, Greece realizes Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project, which must unload Black Sea straits and help the transit of Russian oil to the European market.
Furthermore, Athens joined the South Stream gas pipeline project, through which Russian gas will be delivered to the markets of South and Central Europe.
Greece, Azerbaijan, Italy and Turkey participate in the project of TGI transit gas pipeline, which, as designers plan, will connect Turkey with Western Europe and will be one of five basic ways of gas transport to the European Union. This project also must make Italy, Greece and Turkey large transitors of natural gas from the Caspian Sea, from the Middle East and North Africa.