ATHENS (Sputnik) – The southern European gas pipeline for Russian fuel deliveries from Turkey to Central Europe is a priority project for Greece and Athens must continue its realization regardless of pressure and obstacles from the European Union, Greek former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said Monday.
“We have put in a lot of effort to sign an agreement with Russia on the southern European gas pipeline from Turkey’s border to Central Europe despite pressure and obstacles. Greece may move on to a new path with an independent energy policy,” Lafazanis said at an official ceremony of handing over the office of energy minister to Panos Skurletis.
Lafazanis said that the European Union is continuing its pressure on the construction of the pipeline.
“The European Union is continuing to pressure, attempting to stop the southern European gas pipeline project and disturbing its realization,” Lafazanis added.
Lafazanis was replaced last Friday in a major government reshuffle after he voted against the harsh austerity measures required by Greece’s creditors.
The European Union claimed the South Stream pipeline, a predecessor of the Turkish Stream pipeline, violated energy security regulations.
The Turkish Stream was proposed by Russia in December 2014 in place of the scrapped South Stream. It is expected to run from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea, with a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border, from where it is planned to continue through Greece to southern Europe.