Russia Sending Turkstream Gas to EU Through Greece

Αssociated Press

FILE - From left, Cypriot Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiadis, Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, and Israel's Minister of Energy and Water Yuval Steinitz applaud following a signing ceremony, in Athens, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS - With energy becoming a more critical catalyst, deliveries to the European Union through Greece are being shipped by Russia, using the new TurkStream pipeline in Turkey even as tensions build between Greece and its neighbor.

The report the gas was flow game from Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz company, with Russian planning to cut back shipments to the EU through Ukraine, but continuing to send supplies despite some EU sanctions, energy seen outside the fray because it's so lucrative to Moscow.

Russia is building TurkStream and doubling the capacity of NordStream across the Baltic Sea to Germany as part of plans to bypass Ukraine in its gas deliveries to Europe.

“Russian gas deliveries not only for us but also for Greece and North Macedonia are being carried through the new entry point (at our Turkish border),” Bulgartransgaz CEO Vladimir Malinov told Bulgarian national radio BNR.

Russian gas producer Gazprom started shipping about 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to Bulgaria via TurkStream on January 1, replacing a route that passed through Ukraine and Romania, said the news agency Reuters in a report.

Gazprom shipped about 3 bcm to Greece and about 500,000 mcm to North Macedonia via that route last year. Malinov said that lines - the TransBalkan pipeline - was idle at present, but added it was made reversible and could be used for shipments to Romania, Moldova and Ukraine if there's demand.

“We have thus opened the route to access for LNG from the Greece’s LNG terminal Revithoussa up to Ukraine,” he said.