Greece joins Russia-led gas project, Putin happy about direct access to markets-

President Putin said Monday a Russia-led natural gas pipeline project, which Greece vows to join, is in Russia’s interests because it gives it direct access to consumers.

“This project means new transport capacity to support new contracts,” Putin said referring to a project under which a gas pipeline from Russia to Italy through Bulgaria – and now Greece – will be laid.

He said the South Stream project would, along with Nord Stream in the Baltic, give Russia direct access to consumers in the European Union.

“Greece perused [Russia’s] proposal and is ready to join the project together with Russia, Bulgaria and Italy,” Konstantinos Karamanlis said in Istanbul.

The first agreement on the South Stream project was signed June 23 in Rome by Russian gas giant Gazprom and ENI, Italy’s leading gas company, with which Gazprom also has a long-term bilateral gas supply deal.

While the required capacity has yet to be determined, Russia has stated that it would fill the pipe with its own as well as Central Asian gas.

The South Stream will run parallel to the Blue Stream pipeline that brings Russian gas to Turkey under the Black Sea.

Source: RIA Novosti

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