Russia says to support Greece recovery by deepening energy cooperation
MOSCOW - Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speak at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 19, 2015. AP PhotoRussia intends to support an economic recovery in Greece by expanding cooperation in the energy sector, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on July 12.
Novak said in a statement sent to reporters that Russia was considering the possibility of organizing direct energy supplies to Greece and hoped to reach an agreement on this within the next few weeks.
Greece currently buys Russian gas delivered by pipeline via Ukraine and the Balkan countries as well as Russian oil, usually through tenders from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.
Greece and Russia signed a memorandum in June on extending the planned Turkish Stream gas pipeline to Europe through Greek territory, with financing coming from Russia.
Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said at the signing ceremony in the Russian city of St. Petersburg that Greece needed support and not pressure during its debt crisis and that cooperation with Russia was not aimed against other countries or Europe.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russian state-owned gas producer Gazprom would not own the Greek part of the pipeline.