US ambassadors hail Greece’s role in energy cooperation in the Balkans

Five ambassadors from the United States hailed Greece’s cooperation in energy cooperation in the Balkans as essential to diversifying supplies away from Russia, Greek daily Ekathmerini reported on Sunday. 

Speaking at the 5th Southeast Europe Energy Forum on Friday, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt praised Athens’ role in diversifying gas supplies away from Russia’s traditional monopoly in this market. In particular, Pyatt noted that facilities for receiving liquified national gas facilities in Alexandroupoli and Athens as contributing to this goal.

Pyatt’s praise was joined by comments from U.S. ambassadors from Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Bulgaria. Together, the five diplomats noted that diversification of energy sources is not ”a national agenda but an agenda of the broader region.” 

Pyatt took a moment to also highlight the role the regional countries played in bringing the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline that brings gas from Azerbaijan to the region. The pipeline’s construction was announced in 2016 and the first deliveries of Azerbaijani gas to Italy, the end point of the TAP, was made in December 2020. 

Turkey has carved out its own role in the delivery of energy supplies to the region as well. The TAP begins along the Greek-Turkish border where it connects with the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline that also delivers Azerbaijani gas to European markets. Together the two pipelines contribute to the Southern Gas Corridor that directly competes with Russian pipeline operators. 

At the same time, Turkey and Russia collaborated on the creation of the TurkStream pipeline that was completed on January 1, 2020. This pipeline, the counterpart to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that brings gas from Russia to Germany, is also set to run through the Balkans up to Hungary.

 

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