PM eyes another pipeline project

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is set to travel to Russia this month for talks with President Vladimir Putin that could lead to Greece becoming involved in another pipeline project with one of its strongest allies, sources said yesterday. Karamanlis is expected to fly to Moscow toward the end of the month to agree to Greece’s participation in the South Stream project, which will see the construction of a pipeline to transport natural gas from Russia’s Black Sea coast to Italy. The prime minister is also likely to meet with Putin’s successor, Dimitri Medvedev, to agree in principle that part of the South Stream pipeline will pass through Greece. Last year, Greece agreed to a deal with Russia and Bulgaria to build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline to transport Russian oil. A date for Karamanlis’s visit to Moscow has not been officially confirmed. Meanwhile, diplomatic sources said that Athens expects UN mediator Matthew Nimetz to make a new proposal in the next two weeks to try to settle the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Also, deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey yesterday attempted to clarify a statement by Undersecretary Daniel Fried, referring to a «Macedonian language» and «Macedonian nation.» Casey said the USA does not officially recognize either and that any references to them should not impact on negotiations between Greece and FYROM.

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