MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Greece’s participation in the Russia-proposed Turkish Stream gas pipeline project will yield hundreds of millions of euros in annual revenues for the Hellenic Republic for transit services alone and raise its geopolitical status considerably, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
Putin’s statement came after talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Moscow.
If Greece decides to join the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, this decision "will raise Greece’s geopolitical status - in this case it will become a large transit country both for the entire south of Europe and, possibly, for Central Europe," Putin said.
Greece "will be receiving good money for transit amounting to hundreds of millions of euros annually simply for transit," the Russian president said.
Greece’s participation in the Europe-bound Turkish Stream project will help the country create additional jobs, Putin said.
"This is a serious, large-scale and multi-billion project," the Russian president said.
The talks between the Russian and Greek leaders also focused on financing sources for the Turkish Stream project, Putin said.
"However, our Greek partners and friends should team up with their Russian partners to work on all details, after which it will be possible to talk about anything specific," the Russian president said.
"Specific professional preparations are required at the level of Gazprom, the corresponding Russian ministries and departments and their partners in Greece," Putin said.
The Russian president also said Greece’s participation in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project will allow the Hellenic Republic to become a major European gas distribution center.
The Russian president said the talks with the Greek prime minister "touched upon the prospects of implementing the largest Turkish Stream infrastructural project, a key project for transporting Russian gas across Turkey to the Balkans and, possibly, to Italy and farther to Europe."
"The new route will cover Europeans’ requirements for fuel and allow Greece to become a major energy distribution center on the continent, help raise considerable investment in the economy and create additional jobs," the Russian president said.
Naturally, "in the final account, this is the issue of our economic structures and the Greek government’s sovereign decision," Putin said.
Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding on December 1, 2014, envisaging the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey.
The Turkish Stream gas pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, of which 50 billion cubic meters will be supplied to a new gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border.
Russian President Putin announced on December 1 the project to build the South Stream gas pipeline was closed due to the European Union’s unconstructive approach to cooperation in that sphere, including Bulgaria’s decision to stop the construction of the pipeline’s stretch on its territory.
Instead, Russia will build a gas pipeline to Turkey where a gas hub on the border with Europe will be created, Putin said.
South Stream was Gazprom's global infrastructure project designed to build a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe in order to diversify natural gas export routes and eliminate transit risks.
The Turkish Stream gas pipeline will run 660 km (410 miles) along the old corridor of the South Stream project abandoned by Russia and 250 km (155 miles) in the new corridor towards Turkey’s European part.