23 February, 2008
Development Minister Christos Folias and Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Christenko held talks here on Thursday night and agreed that the work groups responsible for the preparation of the South Stream natural gas pipeline agreement will convene for the first time in Athens in early March.
"We are setting out for the implementation of the South Stream pipeline with the creation of a joint work group that will meet in Athens in early March to enable us to begin this new ambitious and mutually beneficial for the Greek, Russian and Bulgarian people, for prospects and for the future," Folias said at the end of the talks that lasted for well over an hour.
Folias said that the aim of the plan is to achieve "guaranteed energy supply to enable us to be able to successfully plan future common activities" and expressed confidence that "our future activities will always be successful," while terming the meeting "very constructive and useful, during which we summed up what we have achieved so far as a result of our close cooperation."
The Russian minister termed the meeting constructive and observed that he feels that meetings with his Greek interlocutor "will become more frequent from now on."
Christenko said that his alternate Yanovski will assume the leadership of the Russian work group that will begin immediately preparations for the meeting in Athens in March.
According to the Russian minister, the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline plan has now entered, with the establishment of the project company, a new phase and the next meeting of its Supervising Council will be taking place in Moscow on February 26.
Folias left for Athens at the end of the talks, having stayed in Moscow only for a few hours and exclusively for the meeting with Christenko.
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