US urges Tsipras to rebuff Russia over Turkish Stream extension through Greece

US Special Envoy for Energy Amos Hochstein

US Special Envoy for Foreign Affairs Amos Hochstein

Turkish Stream extension through Greece: US special envoy for foreign affairs Amos Hochstein yesterday urged Greece’s Prime Minister Alexei Tsipras to opt for the Western-backed Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) rather than taking money from Moscow to build an extension of the Turkish Stream project.
Hochstein’s intervention comes the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin called Tsipras and indicated that Russia would be prepared to advance Greece the money to build a pipeline from its Turkish border up to the northern Balkans against future revenues from transit fees.
“We agreed that it’s important to focus on the project that is on the table today and that [project] is TAP,” he said.”Turkish Stream doesn’t exist. There is no consortium to build it, there is no agreement to build it. So let’s put that to the side, and wait until there’s some movement on that and see if that’s relevant or not relevant and in the meantime focus on what’s important — the pipeline we already agreed to, that Greece already agreed to.”
Although Hochstein said he and Tsipras “agreed far more than we disagreed,” during their dialogue, Greece’s Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, reiterated that Greece was keen to boost ties with Russia and would continue to back the Russian option.”We are backing this project because we think it will be useful for our country,” he said in a statement released after Hochstein’s conversation with Tspiras.