PM heads to Sofia for en­ergy talks

LNG ter­mi­nal and rail link on agenda of dis­cus­sion on Bul­garia visit next week

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Con­tin­u­ing his gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to boost al­liances within the Balkans, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras is due in Sofia on Mon­day for talks with Bul­gar­ian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials that are ex­pected to fo­cus on im­prov­ing co­op­er­a­tion in the en­ergy sec­tor.

Tsipras and his Bul­gar­ian coun­ter­part Boyko Borisov are to jointly chair a ses­sion of a bi­lat­eral coun­cil that is to ex­am­ine the scope for co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy, in­clud­ing en­ergy and trans­port.

The two coun­tries have al­ready par­tic­i­pated in the In­ter­con­nec­tor Greece-Bul­garia (IGB) gas pipe­line and have agreed to cre­ate a liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas ter­mi­nal near Alexan­droupoli in north­ern Greece. There is US in­ter­est in the LNG project, which was the fo­cus of talks dur­ing a re­cent visit to Greece by Wash­ing­ton’s spe­cial en­voy and co­or­di­na­tor for in­ter­na­tional en­ergy af­fairs, Amos Hochstein.

Tsipras and Borisov are also ex­pected to dis­cuss the cre­ation of a rail link be­tween Alexan­droupoli and the Bul­gar­ian Black Sea port of Varna.

Diplo­matic sources in­di­cated that Athens and Sofia also see eyeto-eye on mat­ters re­lat­ing to the fu­ture of the Euro­pean Union. Athens is seek­ing to cre­ate a type of Balkan al­liance in­volv­ing Greece, Bul­garia, Ro­ma­nia and Croa­tia forg­ing joint po­si­tions on var­i­ous Euro­pean is­sues, sources say.

Tsipras, who is to be ac­com­pa­nied on his visit to Bul­garia by sev­eral min­is­ters, is also in­ter­ested in the progress of Greek com­pa­nies that have re­lo­cated to that coun­try over the past few years due to the cri­sis in Greece.

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