Gazprom hosts gas price talks with DEPA as PM to meet Putin

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY CHRYSSA LIAGGOU & GIOR­GOS TERZIS

Rus­sian en­ergy gi­ant Gazprom met with del­e­gates of Greece’s Pub­lic Gas Cor­po­ra­tion (DEPA) for a new round of talks yes­ter­day aimed at pre­vent­ing the lat­ter from re­sort­ing to ar­bi­tra­tion over the price the Rus­sian com­pany sells its gas to Greece. The in­vi­ta­tion comes as Greek Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras is due to meet Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin later to­day.

The man­age­ment of the Greek util­ity got the green light from the gov­ern­ment and trav­eled to St Peters­burg for ne­go­ti­a­tions af­ter an un­ex­pected in­vi­ta­tion by Gazprom on the same day, in­stead of con­tin­u­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions through an ex­change of let­ters.

Un­til late last night there was no news con­cern­ing the progress of talks, but Greek en­ergy mar­ket sources in­ter­pret the move by the Rus­sians as in­dica­tive of their in­ten­tion to back down fur­ther on the is­sue of price.

The lat­est Gazprom of­fer for $405 per 1,000 cu­bic me­ters was re­jected by the Greek side, while DEPA was or­dered by Athens to re­ject any price of $400/1,000c.m. or over and to de­mand that the rate be ap­plied retroac­tively for one year, dou­ble what the Rus­sians are propos­ing.

The is­sue of the gas rates will be

gas rates will be cen­tral in to­day’s meet­ing be­tween Greek PM An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras (r) and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin (l) in Brus­sels in the con­text of the ‘In­dus­try Mat­ters’ con­fer­ence. cen­tral in the meet­ing be­tween Sa­ma­ras and Putin in Brus­sels at 5 p.m. – their first meet­ing in two years – in the con­text of the “In­dus­try Mat­ters” con­fer­ence in the Bel­gian cap­i­tal.

Sa­ma­ras has al­ready re­quested that Putin push for a re­duc­tion of the price Gazprom charges DEPA for gas, as a dis­count on the rate – which is higher that what other Euro­pean coun­tries have to pay – would en­tail a ma­jor ben­e­fit for house­holds and en­ter­prises in Greece.

Athens also main­tains high ex­pec­ta­tions from its re­la­tions with Moscow and wishes for Gazprom to be present in the ten­der for the pri­va­ti­za­tion of DEPA.

The is­sue of

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