ECONOMY

Greece to pay Gazprom without sanctions breach

Greece to pay Gazprom without sanctions breach

Greece will pay Gazprom for the gas it imported in April on May 20, in a way that will not violate European Union sanctions against Moscow, Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas assured on Thursday.

In comments to Skai Radio, Skrekas explained Greece’s main gas utility DEPA will pay Gazprom for April’s gas supplies “in a way which will not violate the sanctions and safeguard our country’s energy security.” 

“Gazprom has proposed a way of payment. This has legal, financial and political aspects. We’ve been assessing all these aspects,” he said.

Skrekas also said on Thursday that the government has taken all the necessary measures for the energy efficiency of the country, in order to face worst-case scenarios.

In particular, he noted the expansion of the storage capacity of Revithoussa with a new floating LNG tank, which, as he said, will be completed in July. 

He also noted the readiness of four power plants that currently run on natural gas, to operate with diesel, but also the utilization of the TAP pipeline through which Greece imports 18% of its gas needs from Azerbaijan.

“The government’s goal is to continue to support households and businesses in a fair and effective way,” he said.

EU energy ministers will meet on Monday in the wake of Moscow’s move to cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for failing to comply with Putin’s decree on payment in rubles. The Commission’s position remains unclear.

Referring to the issue, government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said on Thursday that “we have been paying in euros and we will be paying in euros.”

“How they will be converted into rubles is an issue which will be clarified,” he said.

“I believe the process will be crystal-clear by the end of May, when we need to make the payment to Gazprom,” he said.