New pipeline from Greece to Bulgaria spells ‘freedom’ from Russian gas

Sursa foto: Pixabay

A new natural-gas pipeline from Greece to Bulgaria has come into service, marking a significant step toward weaning the country and others from  Russian energy imports.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was in Sofia for the occasion,  said the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria pipeline would help limit Moscow’s ability to pressure European Union members and other countries.

„This pipeline changes the energy-security situation for Europe,” von der Leyen said. „This project means freedom.”

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev hosted the event that and was attended Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and the presidents of Serbia and North Macedonia.

Ciuca assured Romanians that Romania had stored enough natural gas for the winter.

„We have the necessary gas for 2022-2023 winter;  the country won’t suffer, “ he said.

The new pipeline will also connect to the BRUA network which links Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.

“We have been waiting for this pipeline to become operational for some time… which diversifies energy sources. The southern corridor will ensure the connectivity of the project which we are doing with u Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria,” he said.

“This will help up to supply Moldova and Ukraine with gas,” he added.

The Bulgarian-Greek project was first conceived in 2009, when Russia halted gas flows through Ukraine, leaving Bulgaria and other countries in the region without gas for about a week.

The project took on extra significance in April, when Moscow cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria after Sofia rejected a demand to pay for deliveries in Russian rubles.

„People in Bulgaria and across Europe are feeling the consequences,” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, von der Leyen said. „But thanks to projects like this, Europe will have enough gas for the winter.”

The 182-kilometer pipeline connects to the Trans-Adriatic pipeline, which supplies natural gas from Azerbaijan. It is initially projected to provide up to 3 billion cubic meters of gas annually, but could be expanded to up to 5 billion cubic meters in the future.

Romania to ensure gas supply to Ukraine, Moldova through Greece-Bulgaria pipeline-premier


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