Eastern Europe teams up to reduce EU's dependence on Russian gas

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By Euronews with AP
Greece-Bulgaria Pipeline
Greece-Bulgaria Pipeline   -   Copyright  AP

Countries in Eastern Europe are partnering up to develop projects and share resources to counter the Russian dominance in the gas market and curb the EU's reliance on Russian supply.

A natural gas pipeline between the Greek-Bulgarian borders should be ready by June, which aims to provide the two countries and their neighbours with access to new grid connections.

This new pipeline comes on the back of Russia cutting off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria over demands to be paid in rubles.

Moscow made these demands after western countries implemented sanctions against them over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This €240 million line will run from the Greek city of Komotini to the city of Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria. The project is funded by the countries involved as well as the EU.

Romania and Bulgaria to team up against Russian market dominance

Meanwhile, Bulgarian and Romanian leaders have also announced plans to work together to reduce Russia's pressure on the gas market.

Bulgaria's prime minister, Kiril Petkov, said they could take gas from Romania and send it to Turkey and also back the other way via the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector.

He added that he would look to Bulgaria's partners in Azerbaijan as a possible source of gas.

Following talks with the Bulgarian PM, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said both leaders had agreed to have damaged Ukrainian military equipment repaired at Bulgarian plants and then sent back to Ukraine.

A possible Czech-Polish pipeline in the works

Poland and the Czech Republic are set to restart their talks on building the Stork II gas pipeline.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said his country was also interested in buying capacity in Poland’s expanded or newly built LNG terminals. The Czech Republic is more than 90 per cent dependent on Russian gas.

The discussions surrounding the Stork II pipeline were previously abandoned but both countries say they are now open to energy cooperation.