Greek, Russian PM Talks Over Phone on Ener Isssues

Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis had a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, which focused on energy issues and ways to further develop the already close bilateral relations between the two countries.

According to Athens News Agency, Karamanlis expressed the Greek side's desire in the 20-minute phone talk to continue cooperating with Russia in the vitally important energy sector and his satisfaction with the progress of negotiations between Gazprom and Greece's DESFA (Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator S.A.) for the Southstream natural gas pipeline.

He assured Putin that Greece will take all necessary steps for the completion of these negotiations.

Regarding the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, the Greek prime minister stressed the need to update a study for the project and the two leaders expressed conviction that work on the pipeline will proceed according to existing schedules.

In terms of bilateral relations, Karamanlis said that Greece sees Russia as a "major friend and strategic partner," while Putin underlined the importance placed by Russia on relations with Greece and its desire to further deepen and expand these ties.

They agreed that cooperation had been further strengthened through the Greek chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), during which Russia's supportive and constructive stance had been crucially important in resolving outstanding matters that concerned the organization.

(Posting date 29 June 2009)

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