The head of the Russian gas giant Gazprom Alexei Miller has been meeting in Athens with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for talks on an energy project.
It is understood they discussed a pipeline that would carry Russian gas to Europe via its territory, but insiders say there was no word on whether Moscow is preparing advance funds to give to Greece based on future profits.
“This project could be realised via the Russian-European consortium, there are some European companies interested in the Turkish stream. This project will be realised strictly within the European legislation.” said Miller when asked about the project.
The Turkish Stream is a working name for a proposed natural gas pipeline from Russia’s Black Sea to Turkey to replace the cancelled South Stream project.
EU officials have expressed concern that its 63-billion cubic metres capacity will exceed demand from Turkey, Greece and other potential customers.
But reports of an 5-billion euro injection from Moscow are wide off the mark according to many analysts who believe Russia simply can’t spare the cash.
Konstantinos Filis is head of the International Relations Institute: “It will be unprecedented for the Russian side to pay a sum of money in advance for a project that faces a number of uncertainties and is far from being implemented.”
“If we get caught in a situation where Russia gives money according to its will, then you should be sure that it will ask for returns,” he added.
Nevertheless, shut out from international markets and with the EU/IMF bailout aid frozen, cash-strapped Greece has said it expects to clinch a deal with Russia as soon as possible.