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BRUSSELS, April 21. /TASS/. The Moscow-led project to build a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Greece via Turkey should comply with the European Union’s standards, European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said on Tuesday.
"We’re ready to make a technical evaluation of this project but only when we can see its details. With regard to this project, as well as the South Stream [gas pipeline] project, we can say that all gas transportation projects on the territory of the European Union should fully comply with the EU norms," the spokeswoman said.
Greece and Russia will in the coming days sign an agreement on building a gas pipeline on Greek territory to link the Moscow-led Turkish Stream project with Central Europe, Greece’s Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said last week.
The Greek minister’s statement came after he held talks in Moscow on March 30 with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom head Alexey Miller.
The project will require about €2 billion in investment and will create 2,000 jobs, the minister said.
The construction of the gas pipeline’s Greek stretch will yield benefits for the Hellenic Republic "as it will make gas cheaper on the domestic market, turn Greece into an energy hub and will help avoid debts as a result of the refusal from the ‘take or pay’ clause, which stipulates payment for gas, even if it is not taken, which is topical for Greece due to reduced blue fuel consumption," the Greek minister said.
Greece will also get a possibility to receive direct financing from Russia to be counted towards revenues, which the Hellenic Republic will receive after 2019 for gas transit, when the gas pipeline begins to function, the minister said.
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 8 in Moscow that Greece was interested in building a gas pipeline stretch from the border with Turkey as part of the Moscow-proposed Turkish Stream gas project.
"Projects of such a scope create possibilities for stabilizing and strengthening security in the region as a whole," Tsipras said.
"I drew the Russian president’s attention to the fact that Greece is interested in studying possibilities and investment initiatives for the purpose of building a natural gas pipeline from the border between Greece and Turkey to the Greek territory to cover our country’s energy requirements, and also for the purpose of energy security, always complying with the legislation of both Greece and the EU," Tsipras said.
The Russian president said Greece’s participation in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project intended to bring Russian natural gas to Europe via Turkey would allow the Hellenic Republic to become a major European gas distribution center.
"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.
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.
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.
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.