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ST. PETERSBURG, June 18. /TASS/. Russia and Greece plan to sign an intergovernmental memorandum on the Turkish Stream on June 19 within the framework of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday.
"Tomorrow [on June 19 - TASS] we plan to sign a memorandum with our Greek colleague," the Minister said.
Earlier on Thursday, Novak said Russian companies and banks may participate in financing Turkish Stream ground infrastructure construction in Greece. "The project is at the workout stage so far but the Russian side is ready to take part in financing construction of the infrastructure," the minister said.
In June Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had a telephone conversation, after which it was reported that the leaders of the two countries "agreed to meet at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 18-20."
The leaders of Russia and Greece have enhanced contacts recently, often discussing the Turkish Stream project, which implies gas supplies from Russia to Greek borders.
The Turkish Stream will serve as an alternative to the South Stream gas pipeline project abandoned by Russia in December 2014. The larger part of the Turkish Stream pipeline will run across the Black Sea and coincide with the South Stream route approved earlier.
Unlike the South Stream, which implied a large-scale infrastructure construction in Europe, the Turkish Stream project is limited to the construction of a pipeline under the Black Sea and a gas hub on the border between Turkey and Greece. The remaining part of infrastructure will have to be built by Gazprom’s European customers themselves.
Earlier, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said that the construction of the first stretch of the Turkish Stream would start in late June. The pipeline is scheduled to begin operation in December 2016, he said.
The Turkish Stream will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, of which 47 billion cubic meters will be delivered to a new gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border. Gazprom Russkaya Company will be in charge of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline construction.