Russia-Greece oil pipeline 'one step away'

Russia, Greece and Bulgaria have created a joint company to construct the Burgas-Alexandropolis oil pipeline which will link Russia with southern Europe. It is hoped it will contribute to European energy security. The news came as Greek Prime Minister Kos

The announcement came at a joint news conference of the two leaders in Moscow.

The project has been in the offing since March 2006 and will allow 35 million tonnes of oil to be pumped to Europe annually.

As well as reaping huge financial benefits for the participants – Moscow, Athens and Sofia, it is hoped the pipeline will guarantee energy security in Europe.

“Our joint effort should be concentrated on the biggest bilateral and multilateral projects, including the construction of the Burgas-Alexandropolis oil pipeline and the South Stream gas pipeline. Their implementation will be both highly profitable and will greatly increase energy security on the whole European continent,” said the Russian President.

The South Stream gas pipeline, another deal in progress, would guarantee Greece its supplies up to the year 2040.

Military co-operation is yet another area that Greece values. Athens wants to pay around 1.2 billion euros for 450 Russian armoured vehicles.

Apart from energy and military ties, the links between the countries are strong in all fields, and the two leaders, who have met for the fifth time, were keen to emphasise the fact.

Partners share experience, and perhaps the most historically significant advice Greece can offer to Russia is of the sporting kind.

“Regarding the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 I express the readiness of the Greek side to make a contribution by exchanging with Russia our considerable experience which we gained in 2004 by hosting the Olympic Games in Athens. Also Greek companies are ready to be involved in building facilities in the city of Sochi,” said Kostas Karamanlis.

Strategic partnership is, by the look of things, the goal both men are working towards.