US 'Acting against Gazprom Moves in Greece'

Southeast Europe | April 23, 2015, Thursday // 13:22|  views

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (L) arrive to deliver statements to the news media prior to a meeting at the State Department in Washington, DC, USA, April 20, 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The US is seeking to block a proposal Gazprom made in Athens on a Greek leg of the so-called "Turkish Stream" pipeline, the Greek Foreign Minister has said.

In an interview with the Associated Press Greece's top diplomat Nikos Kotzias quoted US Secretary of State  John Kerry as saying Washington would send its top energy envoy Amos Hochstein to Athens to make a "counter-offer", according to Sputnik International and the Athens News Agency.

Kotzias is currently on a five-day US visit whose schedule coincides with Tuesday's talks between Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and the Russian energy giant's CEO Alexey Miller. Miller also met with Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, telling him "47 billion cubic meters of gas will be transited through Greece".

The Greek leg is planned as an extension to the "Turkish Stream" gas pipeline which was announced as an alternative to the abandoned South Stream project in December of last year. The idea is now to link Turkish Stream, which will start from Russia, go across the Black Sea and reach the Turkey-Greece border, with the EU pipeline network, a move for which the EU is not beginning preparation despite assurances from Moscow that gas transit via Ukraine will be halted once that Turkish Stream is ready in end-2010s.

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Tags: Nikos Kotzias, Alexey Miller, Amos Hochstein, Panagiotis Lafazanis, Alexis Tsipras, John Kerry, greece, US, Gazprom, Turkish Stream


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