Greece and Bulgaria have signed a joint declaration to continue and deepen their bilateral cooperation on many fronts, including energy, at a meeting led by the heads of state of the two countries in Sofia on Monday.
Both sides agreed that substantial progress has been achieved in the energy sector, a collective effort to develop the Greek-Bulgarian IGB natural gas interconnection being a key factor.
Greek and Bulgarian officials pledged to intensify the effort to construct the IGB project, running vertically with potential for wider source links in the Balkan region, including LNG stations and storage facilities.
The two sides also reiterated a commitment to accelerate the development of a second electricity interconnection project between Greece and Bulgaria and highlighted a common interest to promote sustainable energy sources at competitive prices, based on an EU strategy for the energy sector through the development of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), intended to improve EU energy efficiency, security and source diversification.
“Energy cooperation has emerged as a key domain in our ties, through the promotion of new regional routes and pipelines of global significance,” remarked Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He stressed that construction of the IGB, as part of the region’s vertical route, ranks as a top-priority project that promises to bolster the positions of both Greece and Bulgaria on the regional energy map, offering multiple benefits.
Tsipras noted that Greece is continuing its work to upgrade the energy role of the Alexandroupoli port in Greece’s northeast through a plan to develop an LNG station.
The Greek prime minister added that he and his Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borissov, agreed on the need to utilize the energy sources of their respective nations as a means of establishing peace and cooperation, not division.
Tsipras said the joint declaration for energy cooperation confirms the importance placed by both sides on the sector.
In his comments, Borissov referred to the Alexandroupoli LNG station’s construction, noting that, in unison, the two countries can achieve plenty. “We can support Greece in the development of its capacity and achieve security for both countries, in other words, ensure that they won’t sidestep us.”