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    Russia, Greece Need to Boost Cooperation Amid Turkish Stream Construction

    Russia, Greece Need to Boost Cooperation Amid Turkish Stream Construction

    © AFP 2018/ ADEM ALTAN
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    Earlier on Friday, Russian and Greek Energy Ministers, Alexander Novak and Panagiotis Lafazanis respectively, signed a memorandum on the construction of the extension of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to deliver fuel to Europe.

    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) – Greece and Russia need to expand cooperation in energy after the two countries signed a memorandum on the construction of the Greek leg of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline on Friday, Greek Secretary General for International Economic Relations Giorgos Tsipras told Sputnik.

    “The next step is to broaden the energy cooperation between Greece and Russia concerning the specific project of Greek Stream. You know that this is the very, very beginning, there has to be a lot of thinking and discussion about how it can be feasible,” Tsipras said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

    The Turkish Stream pipeline was proposed by Russia in December 2014. It is expected to run across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. A gas hub on the Greek-Turkish border in Ipsala will receive an annual 47 billion cubic meters of gas, while the full capacity of the pipeline's four strings will total 63 billion cubic meters, according to Russian energy giant Gazprom.

    Turkish Stream gas is expected to start flowing in December 2016.

    Anti-Russian Sanctions and Ukrainian Crisis — Two Major Problems in Europe

    “The whole politics of sanctions are unproductive, they’re counterproductive, and the new Greek government from the beginning had said that it does not agree with the continuance of the sanctions,” Tsipras said.

    Tsipras added that the Ukrainian crisis had created a new problem of destabilization in Europe and called for an end to the crisis.

    “Sanctions are a new problem in the heart of Europe, the Ukrainian crisis is a very new problem of destabilization in the heart of Europe and this has to stop.”

    Greece Aims at Diversifying International Relations Amid Bailout Talks

    Greece plans to remain in the European Union and within the Eurozone, but will begin altering its international relations, including with Russia, Giorgos Tsipras said.

    “Greece will remain in the European Union and the Eurozone, but it will differentiate in the future its economic, political, and international relations and Russia is a very crucial part of this differentiation.”

    Greece is looking into different sources in order to settle its foreign debt, but will not be blackmailed into making its decisions on its economy, Greek Secretary General for International Economic Relations said.

    “We’re discussing any scenario that can help us get out of this difficult situation that we are in now. But in any case, one should be sure that the Greek government cannot be blackmailed.”

    Greece's total debt is currently estimated at around $350 billion, $270 billion of which it owes to three of its major creditors that include the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    Athens and the three main lenders seek to find the solution to the Greek debt crisis prior to the expiration of the 2011 bailout program on June 30.

    Greece and its lenders have so far refused to accept each other's proposals on unlocking additional aid in exchange for economic reforms and austerity measures, in order to avoid default and a possible exit from the eurozone. The latest talks on the issue took place on Thursday and failed to bring results.


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    European Union, debt talks, anti-Russian sanctions, Turkish Stream gas pipeline, Eurozone, Ukraine, Russia, Greece
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