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How will Greece pay for Putin's natural gas

Featured How will Greece pay for Putin's natural gas

With the Greek economy betting heavily on this year's tourist season to boost government revenue and estimates in favor of increased tourist traffic, the government has set itself the goal of ensuring energy efficiency.

Thus, Athens is reportedly moving in the direction of setting up Greek companies importing Russian gas to pay as they paid Gazprom in the past. That is, to pay the next installments within the framework of their contractual obligations in euros.

This is, according to information, the central message that Athens is trying to send in view of the last ten days of May, during which DEPA Commerce, Mytilineos and Promitheas Gas have in front of them specific installments for the quantities of natural gas imported by Gazprom during April. From the 20th of the month onwards, the Putin decree, which provides for the payment of gas in euros through the account they had in Gazprom Bank and then its conversion into rubles into another account,  the bank will reopen in their name, enters into force for the Greek customers of the Russian energy giant.

Extraordinary Council of Energy Ministers

With these developments the EU Council of Energy Ministers is meeting extraordinarily, next Monday, May 2. The Greek side will be represented by Minister Costas Skrekas.

The relevant ministers are expected to determine their position on the demands made by Moscow on the manner of payment of the quantities of Russian gas.

Athens, according to information, is expected to insist on the single European response. In addition, it will seek to take advantage of a provision in the regulation under which sanctions against Russia can exclude energy and agricultural products. In this way, it will try to remove the impasse that has been created regarding Gazprom's payments, explain competent sources to the Local Government.

Plan B

In addition, during yesterday's meeting at the Maximos Mansion after Gazprom's decision to cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, because the latter did not follow the method of paying the gas quantities according to the Putin decree, they were examined for another and alternative energy efficiency scenarios in case of disruption of the country's energy supply.

This envisages the full supply of the DESFA LNG terminal in Revythousa with extra loads in the next two months. The procedures for installing an additional floating tank on the island opposite Megara are also in progress in order to increase the storage spaces.

There is also an agreement with Azerbaijan for extra imports from the TAP pipeline, while PPC increases lignite mining to operate its specific units. Additional units of private producers and the public enterprise are ready to run on diesel instead of gas if needed.

The new infrastructure

Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a conversation with the Bulgarian Prime Minister Petkov yesterday, assuring him that the energy needs of his country will be met with LNG. The latter also spoke about the completion of the IGB (Greek-Bulgarian) interconnector.

The two men will also attend a Gastrade event in Alexandroupolis on May 3, marking the start of the LNG floating gas station (FSRU). This infrastructure provides additional diversification of the gas supply sources of Greece, Bulgaria and other Balkan countries.