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Implementation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline and South Stream Gas Pipeline Projects is Crucial for Greece


08 Dec 2010 | ITAR-TASS | Implementation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and South Stream gas pipeline Projects is crucial for Greece. Simos Kedikoglou, a Greek parliamentary deputy from the right-of-center New Democracy Party, chairman of the Greek-Russian Parliamentary Friendship Group and vice chairman of the Greek-Russian Friendship Society, made this statement today in an exclusive interview with the ITAR-TASS correspondent.

“These agreements are extremely important,” the deputy said. “The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline Project will put Greece on the energy map of Europe. We will no longer be simply consumers, but will appear on the energy chessboard as a transit country. Unfortunately, there are problems with Bulgaria, which has environmental concerns. We need to find a way to convince the Bulgarians that they must abide by their obligations under the signed documents.”

In Kedikoglou’s opinion, the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and South Stream gas pipeline Projects are even more important for Greece than for Russia. “Russia has alternative energy supply routes, but Greece has no other means of getting onto the energy map,” he said.  “So naturally it’s more important for Greece. Russia will get an alternative route and a friendly country like Greece for entry into the Mediterranean region. I think these Projects should go ahead.”

Kedikoglou was confident that Bulgaria’s concerns over environmental protection measures during construction and operation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline could be overcome. “Greece has the strictest environmental laws in Europe,” he said. “The technologies have advanced to the extent that they more than meet the requirements of environmental protection legislation. Therefore, this Project can be implemented in full compliance with environmental regulations without any problems.  People in other countries with oil pipelines passing through them are sensitive about environmental protection, aren’t they? Incidentally, no one has expressed any environmental concerns about South Stream. So I think that concerns about the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline are somewhat contrived.”