Greece, Russia entering ‘new chapter in energy cooperation’

Greece and Russia are establishing a new chapter of energy cooperation, Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis declared yesterday following a series of meetings in Moscow with Russian officials, including Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

“You all know that the new Greek government has decided to pursue a multidimensional and multileveled energy policy in its international relations,” Lafazanis told reporters. “We want to follow a policy of international energy relations because we believe that this approach serves our national interests as well as stability and security in our region, energy sufficiency and security throughout Europe and, of course, our country’s energy security,” he continued.

Greece’s energy minister told reporters his visit to Moscow was made to promote and develop these concerns.

“We agreed, especially with the energy minister, at our meetings in Russia, that we need to move on to a new level, a new stage in our energy partnerships, and make them more substantial in as many areas as possible areas, I’d say,” commented Lafazanis.

He added that the new chapter being embarked on would prove beneficial for both the Greek and Russian people, while it also promised to set new standards for the wider region and Europe as a whole.

Responding to a question on whether Russia would soften its stance on a take-or-pay clause for natural gas orders – through which Greece must cover the cost of unabsorbed natural gas amounts as a result of overestimated orders and lower domestic gas consumption amid the recession – Lafazanis noted that “we are expecting a positive response from the Russian side.” Further details on the matter would be available upon his return to Athens, once pending details were discussed, he noted.