The NewYork Times

As Cash Dwindles, Greece Negotiates With Gazprom on ‘Energy Cooperation’
The New York Times

With their country running desperately low on cash, Greek officials met on Tuesday with the head of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, spurring speculation about a possible multibillion-dollar pipeline deal between Athens and Moscow.

The talks, which officials cautioned were not expected to lead immediately to a deal, came at a crucial time. The European Union is expected on Wednesday to announce antitrust charges against Gazprom, while Greece is trying to negotiate a new debt deal with its European creditors that the country needs to avoid a default.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece met on Tuesday afternoon in Athens with the Gazprom chief, Aleksei B. Miller. The Greek energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, met with Mr. Miller earlier in the day. A spokesman for the energy minister said only that the two discussed “matters of energy cooperation.” Mr. Tsipras’s office declined to comment.

But both Russia and Greece have financial and political reasons for holding such discussions. In Gazprom’s case, it would be an effort to continue seeking an entry point to Europe for natural gas that would bypass pipelines that run through Ukraine, which is now Russia’s enemy.

For Greece, a pipeline could in theory generate billions of euros a year in revenue. But shorter term, Mr. Tsipras’s government is continuing to signal that it could tilt toward Russia if Greece, which is perilously close to running out of money, cannot reach new terms with its European lenders. Greek officials are to meet with their creditors on Friday in Riga, Latvia.

En faillite, la Grèce devra laisser passer des pipelines russes sur son territoire pour espérer faire quelques dollars.

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