US calls for choice on gas

As Greece measures the fallout from the recent signing of the South Stream project with Russia, the US government said it does not oppose the deal but believes it harms the interest of consumers. Matthew Bryza, US deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, indicated that Greece needs to pick the pace on the Turkey-Greece-Italy (TGI) natural gas pipeline, currently under construction. «You can have both, TGI and South Stream, if you build TGI first. If you build South Stream first, then I am afraid that you will have just that,» he said. According to Bryza, Greek consumers will be at the mercy of Russian gas company Gazprom, which will be supplying the country with about 80 percent of its gas after the completion of South Stream. Last week, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis signed an agreement on the Russian-Italian South Stream pipeline that will pump Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria before splitting into two branches. One branch will take gas northwest to Austria, while the other will head southwest to Italy, going through Greece.