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Eastern European states ally to counter Russia’s dominance in gas market and reduce EU dependence

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A gas pipeline between the borders of Greece and Bulgaria would be completed by June, with the aim of providing the two countries and their neighbors with access to new network connections. The new pipeline comes in the context in which Gazprom announced on Wednesday that it has completely stopped the deliveries of natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria, in the absence of payments in rubles from the two countries for the delivery of fuel, according to Agerpres.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on countries he described as “unfriendly” after the invasion of Ukraine to implement a scheme in which they will open a Gazprombank account to make payments in euros or dollars for gas imports. These funds will be converted into Russian rubles.

The 240 million euro gas pipeline will connect the Greek city of Komotini with the city of Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria. The project is funded by the countries involved and the EU.

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Meanwhile, leaders in Bulgaria and Romania have announced plans to work together to reduce Russia’s pressure on the gas market.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has announced that the country could receive gas from Romania, which it will send to Turkey, and return to the other direction via the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector. The Bulgarian Prime Minister is convinced that the interconnection between Bulgaria and Greece will be completed in June.

“What I realized is that we have an infrastructure that so far we have not fully used, we have not fully optimized. It is the pipeline that brought gas through Romania, Bulgaria to Turkey. Now it can work. On the other hand, the possibility of buying liquefied gas together is a great opportunity, because the price levels will be different if we buy together. At the same time, our partners in Azerbaijan are also a possible source for additional gas, “he said. Kiril Petkov.

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Poland and the Czech Republic would also resume negotiations on the construction of the Stork II gas pipeline.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said his country was also interested in purchasing Poland’s expanded or newly built liquefied natural gas terminals. About 90% of the natural gas imported by the Czech Republic is from Russia.

Earlier talks on the Stork II pipeline had been abandoned, but both countries said they were now open to energy co-operation.

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