Stalled South Stream pipeline plan ‘to benefit Greece’

The apparent end of Russian plans for the South Stream gas pipeline, intended to offer a supply route for the country’s gas to Europe, promises to prove an advantageous development for Greece, Albania, Ukraine, and Turkey as a result of the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) project, to deliver natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, via Greece, Turkey, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea, according to professor Athanasios Kaisis, president of the Thessaloniki EPA gas supply company.

Kaisis, who offered a speech at an industry event staged yesterday at the International Hellenic University in Thessaloniki, where he is a board member, noted that if Russian president Vladimir Putin follows through with his announcement to scrap the South Stream plan and replace it with a lower-cost alternative, then Serbia, Austria, and Hungary would be the major losers, as the original project’s cancellation would deprive the three countries of major investment prospects and new jobs.

“Under no circumstances does the announcement [by Russia] to not develop South Stream mean that Moscow is surrendering its willingness to be a major natural gas supplier in Europe. Only now, Turkey will play a crucial role,” Kaisis said. “If Turkey materializes all that it is planning, a large part of energy supply in southeastern Europe will depend on Turkey,” he continued, adding that the neighboring country has declared an interest to develop a pipeline headed towards northern Iraq.