US ‘Applying Pressure’ on Greece to Build Gas Link w/ Bulgaria

US 'Applying Pressure' on Greece to Build Gas Link w/ Bulgaria

greek-americanUS diplomats are working in Greece to make sure the interconnector project between Athens and Sofia will be carried out, the Bulgarian National Radio has said.

“The interconnector with Bulgaria is a priority for Greece‘s energy policy as well,” BNR’s correspondent in Athens quotes Greek Energy Minister Skourletis as telling lawmakers in Parliament.

US energy envoy Amos Hochstein, who earlier this year visited Bulgaria, is in Greece on Wednesday and is set to meet Skourletis, in a trilateral meeting that is also to be attended by his Bulgarian counterpart Temenuzhka Petkova.

While visiting Bulgaria in January, US Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that the United States would put in effort to make sure the gas link project will be carried out and will be granted EU funding, for the sake of Bulgaria‘s energy diversification.

With early elections and the peak of the debt crisis in Greece this summer, alongside developments on the so-called “Turkish Stream” pipeline project, agreements on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) were not signed in July as it was initially envisaged.

Bulgaria has been working for years to build interconnections with neighboring states, but the bilateral projects are either yet to begin or have come to a halt.

Once connected with Greece‘s energy system, Bulgaria will be able to receive gas from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which is set to carry gas from Azerbaijan via Turkey, Greece and Albania to Italy. 

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