Russia, Greece Keen to Expand Gas Cooperation: Expert

Russia wants to supply energy to Greece and is ready to expand cooperation in the gas sector with the country, according to Vyacheslav Mischenko, Executive Director of the Skolkovo Energy Center.

“Russia is ready to expand cooperation with Greece in the gas field,” Mischenko He told reporters at an energy conference in Athens. “Greece is a country that Russia is interested in in all senses, and energy supplies, energy cooperation is a priority for Russia and its relevant ministries. As far as I understand all signals have been sent from the Russian side, while the position of Greece is still rather cautious, though that already concerns politics,” the expert said.

According to Mischenko, Athens has not implemented the initiative on the TurkStream pipeline extension through the Greek territory from Turkey.

“We know that the TurkStream 2 will run through the territory of Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian side has done much to ensure that. Bulgaria will become a hub to transit Russian gas,” he said. Meanwhile, Greece is surely interested in receiving additional gas volumes, the expert added.

“Potentially, Greece could have probably become a transit country for the Russian gas as well, while considering that it will have a constant stable flow running to the Greek territory (through Bulgaria), one can probably speak about the construction of certain gas liquefaction facilities,” he said.

Moreover, Greece has a large number of islands, and the issue of their electrification via offshore power lines is lucrative, though rather costly from the economic viewpoint, the expert said, adding that he considers “the subject of low-tonnage liquefied natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean and, particularly, in Greece to be quite attractive.”

The TurkStream project will transport Russian gas across the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey and farther to the border with Greece. Gas deliveries via the first stretch of the gas pipeline are meant to meet the requirements of the growing Turkish market, while the second stretch is planned to deliver gas to the countries of Southern and South-Eastern Europe. Gazprom considers Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as potential markets.