‘Pipeline diplomacy’ continues with Gazprom’s Miller in Athens

Both Athens and Moscow say they want a natgas pipeline through Greece… only the details and financing remain!

The visit and high-profile meetings Gazprom chief Alexei Miller had in Athens on Tuesday failed to deliver a final – and much-coveted by the government – deal for a pipeline carrying Russian natgas from the Turkish border through Greece.

Smiles and talk of future cooperation were on the agenda of meetings Miller held with the relevant Greek energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, before the two men were received by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras.

Both leftist Greek leaders traveled to Moscow this month in a bid to seek Russian investments, with energy more-or-less topping the “wish list”. In carefully answer press questions afterwards, the head of Russia’s biggest energy provider said: Gazprom has no problem with the project adhering to EU law.  

The Russian side would guarantee 47 billion cubic metres of natgas transported through the Greece section any future pipeline every year.

As expected, a joint committee will be set up to monitor the project’s (future) implementation), while both sides referred to a possible MoU dealing with deadlines, any future consortium to run the project etc.

Both sides, emphasized, that “discussions are continuing”.