Turkish Stream talks “constructive” – but no cash advance confirmed

Panagiotis Lafazanis

Turkish Stream talks: The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Gazprom Chief Aleksei Miller yesterday held what are being described as  “constructive” talks around the future of an extension of the Turkish Stream pipeline across its territories and on to Northern Europe, but there does not appear to have been any progress made on the possibility of the Russian side extending Athens a cash advance to help it through its current financial  crisis. 
“The pipeline is of big interest to our country and is among our priorities,” Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis – who also met with Miller – told reporters.  “We are continuing to talk and we hope to reach an agreement very soon,” he said, but declined to comment about the possibility of an advance payment.
After aborting a $40bn South Stream pipeline last year, Russia is now pushing ahead with plans to build the so-called Turkish Stream project to Turkey and further out to Greece via the Black Sea, in line with its plans to stop exporting gas via Ukraine by 2019. In theory the pipeline could generate Greece billions of euros each year in transit fees.