Greece and Bulgaria signed two deals that could “change the energy map of south-eastern Europe, the Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday.
The Greek premier met with the President of Bulgaria, Ruben Radev, in Athens and signed two memoranda on energy infrastructure with the neighboring country.
According to Mitsotakis, these agreements will make the two countries energy providers in the European Union and will contribute to Europe’s energy security.
Με τον Πρόεδρο της Δημοκρατίας της Βουλγαρίας Rumen Radev, υπογράψαμε δύο συμφωνίες που σφραγίζουν την ενεργειακή συνεργασία μας, ενισχύουν την ενεργειακή ασφάλεια στην ευρύτερη περιοχή και αποτελούν ένα ακόμα βήμα προς τον στρατηγικό στόχο της ευρωπαϊκής αυτονομίας. pic.twitter.com/mdJWiyBY6V
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) February 16, 2023
The first agreement provides for the collaboration of the energy ministries of both countries in the field of security and natural gas supply.
According to this, Greek companies will be able to store gas at the Chiren facilities in Bulgaria, while correspondingly, Bulgarian companies will be able to use the LNG terminal at Revithoussa near Athens.
“Both countries will have secured access to crucial infrastructure for their energy security,” he said.
Greece, Bulgaria revive Alexandroupolis-Burgas pipeline
The second memorandum concerns oil. The two counties will look to revive a pipeline project to transport crude oil from the Greek port of Alexandroupolis on the Aegean Sea to Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Burgas.
Mitsotakis said the pipeline would offer Bulgaria alternative supply sources and a “safer, faster and cheaper” way to transfer the fuel, with oil tankers bypassing the now congested Bosphorus Strait.
“Athens and Sofia are committed to exploring the possibility of building a new pipeline that will connect the two hub ports of Alexandroupolis and Burgas, as well as two seas, the Aegean and the Black Sea,” Mitsotakis said.
He added that it is “a project that is being revived in the light of new conditions, not as the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, but as the Alexandroupoli-Burgas pipeline, offering Bulgaria alternative sources of supply.”
On his part, Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev underlined that the traditionally good cooperation between the two countries was further strengthened by the two memoranda and thanked the Greek prime minister for the access to Revythoussa.
“I remind you how important were the things we implemented through our relations and cooperation in the past year,” he noted and referred to the completion of natural gas pipeline connections and the increase in exports of electricity to Greece.
“All this transcends the dimensions of a cross-border agreement. Greece and Bulgaria have shown themselves to be pillars of stability for the region,” he said.
“This cooperation changes the map in Southeast Europe, opening new perspectives for the two countries. The signing of the two memoranda is the continuation of the effort made by Greece and Bulgaria in the same direction,” he added.