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Greece, U.S. discuss energy security for Greece, NATO
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14:26, April 12, 2008

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Greece's energy policy is set for its own benefit, but the interests of its European Union partners are also taken into account, Development Minister Christos Folias said Friday.

"Our targets are clear, our policy is to invest in our geo strategic position not only for the benefit of our country, but for the benefit of our partners as well in the EU," said Folias after meeting with visiting U.S. Undersecretary of State Matthew Bryza.

The United States has urged Greece and other NATO countries to seek alternatives to Russian natural gas, saying the deepening dependence on Russian energy supplies threatens their economic security.

Russia is Greece's main supplier of natural gas, and a branch of the South Stream pipeline will pass through Greece and carry Russian gas to western Europe.

Washington backs the Nabucco pipeline, a competing pipeline across Europe from Turkey, which will bypass Russia and is at least in part intended to help ease western Europe's dependence on Russian supplies.

But since the Turkey-Greece relations are often tense, Athens is likely to prefer not to rely on energy supplies that go through its eastern neighbor.

Greece will not be pressured to do anything "it does not want to," said Bryza.

During the meeting, Folias and Bryza also agreed that the two countries will strengthen cooperation on the development of renewable energies by enhancing the exchange of experience, knowledge and visits.


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