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Economy

Greece Wants EU Consensus on How to Pay for Russian Energy

ATHENS – Greece said that the European Union, notorious for moving at a slug-like pace and bogged down in political minutiae, should have a common front on how to pay for Russian energy supplies.

The EU imposed sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine but is so dependent on Russian gas and oil and accounts for up to 40 percent of the bloc’s supplies that it hasn’t stopped buying the energy.

That effectively is financing President Vladimir Putin’s war and atrocities on Ukrainian civilians, the EU in the hopeless position of essentially saying that despite the mass killings: what can we do, we need the energy?

Russia, breaking its own contract, said EU countries must pay in rubles and shut off supplies for Bulgaria and Poland when those countries refused and Greece said it would pay Russia’s Gazprom in a way that doesn’t violate the sanctions – but refused to say how that would be done.

At a May 2 extraordinary council of EU energy ministers, Greece’s Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas will ask for a common stance on the way Gazprom will be paid, said Kathimerini.

That’s unlikely to happen given disagreements between countries that has been the bloc’s weak point, always trying to seek consensus but roiled by infighting and self-interest.

Given that, the paper said that the New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is preparing to supply coverage to Greek companies so that they continue to import gas from Gazprom without risking any sanctions for themselves – but it wasn’t explained how.

Sources not named told the paper that the Greek Energy Ministry has requested a legal opinion and it seems that Putin, indeed, is violating the contract but no further sanctions are being brought.

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