By Firdevs Yuksel
ANKARA (AA) – Greece is conducting talks with the EU on the extension of TurkStream natural gas pipeline through its territory, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday.
Ahead of his visit to Moscow on Friday, Tsipras highlighted the importance of the TurkStream project to bring Russian gas to Europe for its energy security in an interview with Russian news agency TASS.
In line with Athens' multidimensional energy policy, Tsipras expressed the country's support and that of other European countries' to cooperate with Russia for distribution of energy sources, including the pipeline to transport Russian natural gas to Europe through the TurkStream.
Russia has been evaluating several routes for the project's second line namely, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as well as Greece and Italy.
Despite Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova's statement during her speech in Parliament on Nov. 30 when she said the TurkStream gas pipeline would pass through Bulgaria, discussions between Russia and Bulgaria, and Greece are still ongoing to determine the route destination for the second line.
In reference to the possibility of an agreement for the second line of the TurkStream project to route from Turkey to Greece, Tsipras said, "We are conducting dialogue in the EU, and I believe our arguments are strong. We have perseverance and patience and I believe we will possibly have positive results in the future."
"Greece greatly contributed to the Southern Corridor and the so-called TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline], which runs from Turkey to Greece and onto Italy," Tsipras said.
He urged for the diversification of energy sources, which he said was within the framework of the EU's energy strategy to ensure energy security in the region.
The TurkStream project is an export gas pipeline consisting of two 930-km (577.8-mile) lines each with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters.
The pipeline is set to cross beneath the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and also further extend to Turkey's borders with neighboring countries.
The first line is intended for gas supplies to Turkish consumers, while the second is to supply gas to south and southeastern Europe.