PM Alexis Tsipras discuss construction of pipeline through Greece with Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom

A Russian-European consortium could build a natural gas pipeline from Turkish borders through Greece, Alexei Miller, CEO of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom said on Tuesday, following a meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Productive Reconsturction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.

Miller told the press Greece supports the construction of a pipeline carrying natural gas from the borders with Turkey, adding that there are already European companies showing interest in a plan for a Russian-European consortium. A project of this sort must observe European law, which would not be a problem for the Russian side, he added.

Gazprom can guarantee that the pipeline crossing Greek territory will carry up to 47 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually, he said, noting that this volume would give Greece the opportunity to secure enough credit to implement other programmes in the country.

Lafazanis said that the Greek government has been presented with the opportunity for constructive discussion with the head of Gazprom, and that on its side it aims for greater expansion in relations with Russia, especially in energy, which would present a strategic collaboration.

He also expressed the hope that “we will have an agreement very soon” on the pipeline, which will carry Russian natural gas from the Black Sea coast to the Greek-Turkish borders and on to central Europe. He noted the benefits of such a project to the Greek people, the upgrading it would provide for Greece in strategic terms and he reiterated that the government’s intent is that the construction follows absolutely European legislation.

Asked whether Russia provides alternatives to Greece, Lafazanis underlined that Greece ought to follow an independent foreign, economic and energy policy.