ATHENS: The US wants Greece to focus on a Western-backed pipeline project rather than a rival gas pipeline that Athens is discussing with Russia, the top US energy diplomat said on Friday after talks with Greek officials.

Greece has been making overtures to Russia since a leftist government took power in January. Athens says Moscow is considering paying it in advance for the Turkish Stream pipeline to bring Russian gas to Europe via Greece after abandoning the South Stream project last year.

The US, however, is pushing Greece to stick with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that is set to bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe by crossing through Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea.

“What we agreed on is it’s important to focus on what projects are on the table today and that is TAP, that will interconnect to the Azerbaijani pipeline. That is what’s on the table for Greece today,” Amos Hochstein, the US special envoy for energy affairs, told reporters after talks with the energy minister.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2015

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