Russia Ready to Finance Greek Firms Taking Part in Turkish Stream Project
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow may consider extending funding to Greek companies which join the Russian pipeline project to deliver gas to Turkey and onward to Europe, RIA Novosti reported.
Putin has told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a telephone conversation on Thursday that “the Russian side confirmed its readiness to consider financial support to Greek state and private companies who will engage in this project,” according to the Russian news outlet.
In December 2014, Moscow and Ankara signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline that will replace Gazprom’s abandoned South Stream project to carry Russian gas to Turkey and onward to Europe. A distribution hub is to be built close to Turkey’s border with Greece for potential transit of gas to Europe skirting Ukraine. Greece has said it would like to see Turkish Stream extended to its territory.
Tsipras "reiterated that the Greek government was ready to participate, via a public company" in the construction of the extension of the gas pipeline section in Greece, the Kremlin said.
Putin said during a meeting with Tsipras in Moscow last month that Greece could earn billions of euro from gas transit fees if it joins the project. Russian energy giant Gazprom said earlier this month that a consortium of Russian and European companies could build an extension of Turkish Stream through Greece.
Tsipras’s leftist government is struggling to unlock crucial bailout funding from the EU and the IMF to repay its huge debt to international lenders.
Gazprom announced earlier on Thursday that the Turkish Stream pipeline would start operating in December 2016.
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