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PM Mitsotakis: Greece set to become a natural gas storage and transportation hub

July 21, 2022

Greece will become a natural gas storage and transportation hub, covering not only national needs, but also the needs of the countries in the region, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday said in a joint press statement with his visiting Romanian counterpart Nicolae Ciuca, on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector."We agreed to upgrade our energy cooperation, as Greece is set to become a natural gas storage and transportation hub, which will cover not only national needs, but also the needs in the region and of course, Romania's. This is not just about a simple trade cooperation agreement, but is also proof of the solidarity and, of course, responsibility we have in our region. Tomorrow we will inaugurate the Alexandroupolis gas pipeline and this will be an important step forward for our structures and infrastructures towards energy independence from Russian gas," Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.The Greek Prime Minister pointed out that Russia uses natural gas as a geostrategic "tool" and stressed that by invading Ukraine, Russia has violated international law on some "crude claims". He also mentioned that talks with visiting Prime Minister Ciuca also envisaged ways to support Ukraine's efforts to export its agricultural production."We will try to find other possibilities, alternative routes to export and transport Ukraine's agricultural production to international markets, as I also mentioned on another occasion. We looked at the matter together to see how this production could reach the international markets, for example via the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. We found that we have close opinions on all the issues discussed, compassion exists, and for this reason we agreed that the two countries should take joint actions both within NATO, and other international fora," Mitsotakis said.In a different thread, the Greek PM referred to the "challenges" posed by Ankara, noting that these actions often call into question international conventions."I have informed Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca about the permanent challenges raised by Ankara, about the rhetoric it uses, about Turkey's - I could say - attack moves, which often question international agreements and our primordial rights. I once again said that Greece will defend itself and is ready and determined at any time to defend its national and international rights. Of course, a dialogue that benefits both sides must always be pursued," he said.Kyriakos Mitsotakis also thanked for the Romanian firefighters' prompt response in fighting forest fires in Greece last year, in a display of extraordinary professionalism and dedication, and went on to say that this cooperation continues this year too, as a 28-strong Romanian firefighting task force with eight vehicles has been deployed to Greece under an EU civil protection program.He also referred to the opening of an exhibition at the Byzantine Museum, to mark 140 years of bilateral diplomatic relations, organized as part of the "extraordinary cooperation" between the Romanian Embassy in Athens and the Diplomatic Historical Archives of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

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