Russia Strengthens Greece Ties With Gas Link Deal to Europe

29-Jun-2015

Russia signed a preliminary agreement on building a natural-gas pipeline through Greece, a deal that signals strengthening ties between the countries as the crisis-stricken government in Athens is increasingly isolated from the rest of Europe.

Russia’s development bank, known as VEB, will own 50 percent of the 2 billion-euro link and provide all financing, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told reporters after the signing in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday. Greece will own the rest, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is luring Turkey and Greece with promises they’ll become energy centers for southern Europe if the Black Sea pipeline is built. He’s seeking a new route after the EU blocked the South Stream project. Russia dropped the $45 billion link in December as relations with the 28-nation bloc soured over the conflict in Ukraine.

“The pipeline is not against anyone in Europe or the world,” Lafazanis said. “It is here to serve people, peace and stability. Energy can bring people together and not feed Cold War situations.”

OAO (By Elena Mazneva and Eleni Chrepa Bloomberg Business)

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