16 November, 2006
Deputy Foreign Minister Euripides Stylianidis on Wednesday lauded establishment of the southeast European energy community.
"Creation of the southeast European energy community has contributed to diversification of energy sources for Greece, the European Union and the wider region, reducing dependence on only one source," Stylianidis told a conference in Athens.
Demonstrating the government's strategy in the sector were Greece's part in creating the pact signed in 2005 by five EU member states and nine Balkan countries; advancement of a project to build a pipeline carrying Russian oil to Greece via Bulgaria; and a natural gas pipeline linking Italy Greece and Turkey.
Policy focused on diversification of energy sources, forms and distribution routes, employing Greece's role as a powerful geo-economic player in the region, Stylianidis noted.
Also addressing the conference arranged by the Southeast European Energy Institute (IENE) was Christos Dimas, project leader in Greece for the oil pipeline scheme.
The governments of Greece, Russia and Greece were working hard to achieve signature by the end of the year of an agreement to go ahead with the scheme, Dimas reported.
IENE's president, Kostis Stambolis, spoke on the delay in deregulating electricity and natural gas markets in Europe; of geo-political hazards, especially terrorism, that could emerge in energy networks, not only in the Middle East; and of Russia as a rising player.
Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas was due in Skopje, FYROM on Wednesday to represent Greece in the SE Europe Energy Community Ministers Council scheduled for November 17.
The ministerial meeting is the first to take place after the energy treaty was put into effect on July 1, 2006. The participating ministers will adopt the rules of operation for the treaty bodies and examine the request by Moldova, Norway, Ukraine and Turkey to be granted observer status.
During his visit to Skopje, Sioufas will meet with representatives of Greek companies active in the region, visit the Hellenic Petroleum Group OKTA oil refineries and meet with FYROM Economy Minister Vera Rafajlovska.
Source: Athens News Agency