Greece and Russia signed a preliminary agreement on Friday to build an extension to the so called “Turkish Stream” gas pipeline which will carry Russian gas to Europe through Turkey and Greece. The agreement is expected to strengthen ties between both countries which have moved closer during the recent stages of the Greek debt saga.
“Our message is a message of stability and friendship... The pipeline we are beginning today is not against anyone in Europe or anyone else, it is a pipeline for peace, stability in the whole region," said Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.
According to the agreement, Russian development bank VEB will own 50 percent of the 2 billion euro project, while Athens will have rights over the remaining 50 percent.
In terms of funding, the pipeline in Greece will be financed by Russia and Athens will return the money once it become more financially stable, said Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
The construction of the Greek extension to the pipeline, also known as the South European pipeline, is expected to start in 2016 and be completed by 2019. Once finished, the pipeline will have capacity for 47 billion cubic meters of gas a year.