Greece, Russia to sign Turkish Stream cooperation deal
A cooperation agreement for the construction of Turkish Stream pipeline’s Greek portion is expected to be signed in the next few days, Greek energy minister told the state-run Russian media, Sputnik, Friday.
“A specific memorandum on cooperation in the construction of the pipeline is expected to be signed very quickly. It will be a memorandum of understanding on the pipeline, its route, between Greece and Russia,” Greece’s Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis was quoted as saying.
“This pipeline is extremely important for energy security and cooperation in Europe,” the minister said.
During Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ visit to Moscow Wedneday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Greece’s participation in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project was possible.
Tsipras had said: “Greece would gladly build a Greek pipeline for natural gas from the Turkish-Greek border.”
The Turkish Stream project is planned to carry 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually and construction is aimed to begin before the end of 2016.
The project is intended to replace the previously planned South Stream pipeline project, which was to carry natural gas to Europe via the Balkans.
The South Stream project was canceled due to objections from the EU over its construction, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin announced on Dec. 1 that Russia was canceling the South Stream gas pipeline project. He proposed an alternative new natural gas pipeline route through Turkey’s northwestern Thrace region to reach Greece, and also the construction of a natural gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border.
The Turkish Stream is planned to have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. From this project, Turkey would be allocated around 14 billion cubic meters annually for its domestic use and the remaining gas would be exported to Europe.
Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız said on Jan. 27; “Turkey will take solid steps for the new gas route, instead of having non-binding agreements.”