06:04 GMT27 January 2021
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    The United States has moved to counter the Russian energy giant Gazprom's proposal to Athens to invest in the Greek leg of a gas pipeline that will bring Russian natural gas to Europe, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Russia is building a major gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey and all the way to its border with Greece. A memorandum of understanding on the Greek stretch that will link it to the EU pipeline network is due to be signed soon.

    Kotzias, who is on a five-day trip to Washington, told the Associated Press on Tuesday he had met with US Secretary of State John Kerry who said the United States would send the State Department's energy envoy Amos Hochstein "within days" with a counteroffer to the lucrative Gazprom deal.

    Gazprom has promised Athens potential profits, including a decade-long deal to supply gas at a cut-price, in what the Greek foreign policy chief said was a "very good offer," according to AP. Kotzias said Greece was considering these offers from an economic, and not a political point of view.

    In December 2014, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller announced a plan to build a new pipeline to Turkey with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters (2,224 billion cubic feet) of gas. Around 14 billion will be supplied to Turkey, with the rest being pumped to a hub on the Turkish-Greece border for customers in Europe.

    Washington has long been critical of the European Union's reliance on Russian gas. Under the veil of energy security for the Europe, the United States has been pushing through its own energy projects in the region to diversify it away from the Russian gas producer.


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