Russia warming up to Greece, with Natural Gas

13-Jul-2015 Moscow is considering supplying Greece with natural gas via a direct pipeline, Russia’s energy minister said Sunday, adding the priority is to help bring Greece’s economy back from the brink of collapse. The deal, which could be agreed in the coming weeks, according to a Russia Today report, comes as European economic leaders negotiate the terms of a third bailout package for the financially stricken country.

“Russia intends to support the recovery of the Greek economy by increasing cooperation in the energy sector. Therefore, we are looking into options for facilitating direct energy supplies to Greece in the near future," Alexsandr Novak, Russia’s minister for energy, told RT on Sunday.

However, such an agreement, which would cover a pipeline from Russia’s southern border with Georgia through Turkey and into Greece, has alarmed European Union and NATO leaders, who acknowledge that an increasingly warm relationship between Athens and Moscow may undermine ongoing efforts to sanction Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continued involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine. Greece is currently a member of both NATO and the EU.

“There is this new relationship with Moscow and Athens, so there is concern from NATO about how it might evolve in the future,” Thomas Wright, director of the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank, told International Business Times Tuesday. “It’s become part of the geopolitical frame around what’s happening in Europe right now.” (By Christopher Harress, International Business Times)

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