Tsipras heads to Sofia for energy talks

Tsipras heads to Sofia for energy talks

Continuing his government’s efforts to boost alliances within the Balkans, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due in Sofia on Monday for talks with Bulgarian government officials that are expected to focus on improving cooperation in the energy sector.

Tsipras and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov are to jointly chair a session of a bilateral council that is to examine the scope for cooperation in various sectors of the economy, including energy and transport.

The two countries have already participated in the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas pipeline and have agreed to create a liquefied natural gas terminal near Alexandroupoli in northern Greece.

There is US interest in the LNG project, which was the focus of talks during a recent visit to Greece by Washington’s special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, Amos Hochstein.

Tsipras and Borisov are also expected to discuss the creation of a rail link between Alexandroupoli and the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna.

Diplomatic sources indicated that Athens and Sofia also see eye-to-eye on matters relating to the future of the European Union. Athens is seeking to create a type of Balkan alliance involving Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia forging joint positions on various European issues, sources say.

Tsipras, who is to be accompanied on his visit to Bulgaria by several ministers, is also interested in the progress of Greek companies that have relocated to that country over the past few years due to the crisis in Greece.

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