Expectations of an in-depth discussion of Greek-Russian cooperation on energy in the context of the 4th Greek-Russian Forum and the energy conference included therein were dashed on its first day on Wednesday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov – who launched the conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias – avoided any reference to energy cooperation between the two countries.
Lavrov only made a vague reference to Greek-Russian relations, which he said are developing despite the difficult conditions in Europe, and highlighted the role that the proximity of the two peoples plays in the international fluctuations in the region.
Russia’s Deputy Minister for Energy Anatoly Yanovsky was scheduled to participate in the conference but did not attend.
Greek Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis lauded Lavrov’s participation in the conference and made reference to relations between the two countries, stressing that Russia is Greece’s biggest supplier of natural gas. He also said the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project is a plan that can serve the European Union’s aim for security of supply and price competitiveness. Skourletis described the attitude of the Russian government as “creative,” saying it respects the regulations of the European Union regarding the promotion of Turkish Stream.
Public Power Corporation head Manolis Panayiotakis used his speech at the same conference to invite Russian companies to cooperate so that they can implement joint investment in foreign markets.