The officials of Bulgaria and Greece, on Friday, July 8, launched a new pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria, whose strong supply of Russian gas was cut off in April due to the fallout over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greek, highlighted the significance of the new link as an alternative supply line for Bulgaria as neighbouring Greece jockeys evolve as a regional energy transport hub.
Mitsotakis stated during a ceremony held in northeastern Greece, “This is not just a gas pipeline, but an essential south-north energy bridge.
He added that Europe must coordinate its response to Moscow’s conscious choice to alter natural resources in a lever of political pressure, in raw blackmail.
It is something that Bulgarians already know, added Mitsotakis.
In April 2021, Russia cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria after it denied a demand by Moscow to pay off gas bills in rubles, Russia’s currency. Relations between the two ex-Soviet union allies have tanked during recent months, and last month Bulgaria asked for the expulsion of 70 diplomats, causing an angry response from Moscow.
The ruling PM of Bulgaria, Kiril Petkov, stressed the major role of pipelines in ending Russia’s gas monopoly in his nation.
Petkov said that for the first time, our nation would have real terrestrial access toward alternative energy sources than the Russian ones.
The pipeline, which is 182 km long, launched on Friday and will run from the northeastern Greek city of Komotini to Stara Zagora, located in central Bulgaria. It begins with an initial capacity of around 3 billion cubic meters of gas per year and the prospect of future expansion to about 5 million cubic meters. Commercial deliveries are assumed to commence from October 1.
Greece will serve as an energy hub for the people of the Balkans with the use of fossil fuels from the Caspian Sea and the southeastern Mediterranean as well as potential renewable energy from Egypt to supply the region during the war between Russia and Ukraine.