Tsipras meets with Gazprom head, BRICS bank officials

Energy issues, including Greek Stream – the local segment of Turkish Stream, Russia’s latest pipeline proposal for natural gas supply to Europe via the south, from the Greek-Turkish border area – were discussed at a meeting in St Petersburg late yesterday between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Gazprom chief Alexey Miller. The Greek head of state was accompanied by Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.

The two Greek officials also met with board members of the BRICS Development Bank, now officially known as the New Development Bank (NBD), set up as an alternative to the US-dominated World Bank and IMF.

In St Petersburg to attend yesterday’s International Economic Forum (SPIEF – 2015), hosted by the Russian city, BRICS officials, representing the five-member association of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – expressed interest to Tsipras for Greek cooperation with the NBD bank.

Tsipras and Lafazanis, the energy minister, were accompanied by the heads of Greece’s state energy apparatus – the main power utility PPC’s CEO Manolis Panagiotakis; DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation’s boss Spyros Paleogiannis; and ELPE Hellenic Petroleum chief Grigoris Stergioulis – on this trip, presumably to explore the possibility of doing business with BRICS members.

Tsipras is expected to sign an agreement at a meeting today with Russian president Vladimir Putin, formalizing Greece’s interest in the Greek Stream project.