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ATHENS, December 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Greece and Russia reaffirm their continued support for the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project, as follows from a joint statement, released by the Greek Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change after Friday’s meeting between Deputy Minister Yannis Maniatis and Russia’s Ambassador to Greece Vladimir Chkhikvishvili.
According to the Energy Ministry, "at the meeting the two men analyzed the inconsistency shown by the Bulgarian side, which just a month ago fully agreed with the findings of environmental studies, presented by an international company, for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline."
"This issue was also discussed at the recent Greek-Bulgarian meeting in Sofia, during which two ministries involved agreed without any reservations by the Bulgarian side on the procedure of public consultations with the population of the Greek and Bulgarian regions (where the pipeline is to be laid),” the statement runs. “In the course of the conversation (between Maniatis and Chkhikvishvili)a special mention was made of the meeting (in Lithuania) of Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who emphasized once again that this project is an important priority for both parties. The theme of the pipeline and the approach of Greece and Russia to the latest related developments will be discussed at a meeting of a mixed Greek-Russian energy commission, which will be held in Athens on December 12."
On December 7, Maniatis said in Athens that "Greece remains absolutely committed to its firm strategic choice with regard to both the usefulness of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline for Greece and Bulgaria, and the usefulness of the pipeline for promoting the energy security of Europe." In turn, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekuras said Thursday that Greece hoped for the implementation of this pipeline project.
Meanwhile, also on December 7 Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov announced that Sofia terminated its participation in the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project and "offered to sign an agreement (on its withdrawal from the project) by mutual consent."