The United States wants Greece to focus on a Western-backed pipeline project rather than a rival gas pipeline that Athens is discussing with Russia, the top US energy diplomat has said to press, after talks with Greek officials.
A State Department envoy in Athens urged Greece on Friday to embrace a Western-backed project that would link Europe to natural gas supplies in Azerbaijan, rather than agree to a gas pipeline project pushed by Moscow.
The US is pushing Greece to stick with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that is set to bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe by crossing through Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea.
"What we agreed on is it's important to focus on what projects are on the table today and that is TAP, that will interconnect to the Azerbaijani pipeline. That is what's on the table for Greece today," Amos Hochstein, the US Special Envoy for Energy Affairs, told reporters.
"Turkish Stream doesn't exist. There is no consortium to build it, there is no agreement to build it. So let's put that to the side, and wait until there's some movement on that and see if that's relevant or not relevant and in the meantime focus on what's important - the pipeline we already agreed to, that Greece already agreed to."
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Reuters, New York Times