During the 31st convention of the International Coordinating Committee "Justice for Cyprus", Hochstein demanded construction of the gas pipeline from Turkey be stopped. He claimed that the pipeline would undermine alternative plans to supply energy resources to Europe and increase reliance on Russia.
"We are dealing with the energy crisis in Europe. If Greece continues to promote a pipeline for supplying Russian gas to Europe, it will be part of the problem, not a solution," Hochstein said.
According to him, Central and Eastern European countries buy gas from only one supplier, but now it is possible to diversify shipments and "Greece would play a major role" in the diversification.
"This is an unacceptable interference in Greece’s domestic affairs. Our government makes its decisions taking into account country’s national interests and on behalf of the Greek people," sources in the Energy Ministry told RIA Novosti.
According to the sources, any pipeline transferring Russian gas through the Greek territory would contribute to the diversification of gas supplying routes and bolster cooperation and energy security of all European countries.
In early-May, during his visit to Athens, Hochstein opposed the construction of a new gas pipeline, instead of the South Stream project, to deliver Russian gas to Europe. Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said, in his turn, said Greece stands for the construction of a pipeline in its territory from the Greek-Turkish border to supply gas from Russia because it would serve country’s national interests.