Athens, December 5/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Olga Mavrou
In talks with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak and top Gazprom officials in Moscow, Energy Minister of Greece Panos Skourletis raised the issue of lowering the price of natural gas flowing from Russia to Greece. Skourletis also asked the Russians to reduce the quantities for 2015 and 2016 and roll the difference over to the quantities for 2017-26, because there was a considerable decline in gas consumption in Greece due to the recession. He also requested a drastic cut in the amount Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) owes to Gazprom.
The Russians reminded Greece of a provision for the concession to Russian firms of two hydroelectric projects on the Acheloos River, which have been blocked by the Council of State. Another reason that the Russians might be reluctant to help Greece is the story published by Reuters that Greeks might have helped Israel to “spy” on Russian S-300 anti-missile system. This does not help much in the greek-russian economic negotiations, although Greek authorities refute. According to the Greeks “the article on Reuters is absolutely untrue and unfounded”. Reuters correspondent wrote that Greeks, after getting pressure from USA, allowed Israelis to be trained in Greece in “ tackling” the Russian missile defence system S-300.