BUSINESS

Greece wants to be 'pluralistic energy hub,' Lafazanis says after talks with US energy envoy

Greece wants to become a "pluralistic energy hub in the region" with a multi-level and independent energy policy based exclusively on national interests, cooperation and energy security in the region and Europe," Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said on Friday after talks with Amos Hochstein, a US special envoy for international energy relations.

Hochstein, for his part, said the two men "agree on more things than we disagree."

Speaking to reporters, Lafazanis said Greece supports "construction of a natural gas pipeline which will reach the Greek-Turkish border and will carry natural gas from Russia,” noting that such a project would be “beneficial” for Greece and the Greek people while helping to boost cooperation and energy security in the region and in Europe.”

Lafazanis said he had a "very essential and frank exchange of views" with the US envoy.

Commenting on whether a Greek Stream pipeline project was in contrast with a natural gas southern corridor, Hochstein was quoted as saying: "I work on projects that exist and southern corridor is an existing project." "We will continue finding ways to cooperate on these issues to the benefit of Greece."

The talks came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras by phone that Moscow was willing to provide financing to Greek companies involved in a planned extension to the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project.

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