Russian President Putin visits Greece to discuss energy issues

Monday, September 4, 2006

The Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline will be the major issue of the discussions between the Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis and his counterparts, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, which will take place in Athens, Greece. The three-party meeting is scheduled to follow afterwards on cooperation on issues regarding energy and economy among Greece, Russia and Bulgaria, with the construction of the oil pipeline Burgas-Alexandroupolis being an issue of important geostrategic importance for SE Europe.

The Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline will stretch for around 280 kilometres and is expected to transfer 35 million tonnes per year. The cost of its construction will be 800 million euros. The meeting has been scheduled upon President Putin's request, who has submitted a draft plan aimed to be signed by the three countries by the end of the year. It is characteristic that Putin and Karamanlis met two times since September 2005, including one meeting in Chalkidiki, northern Greece, as well as one in Moscow, Russia.

Vladimir Putin is expected at Maximus Palace at 3pm (GTM+2), while he will be escorted by a delegation of Russian politicians, leading businessmen and energy corporation officials. At 7:30pm, Greek Premier Karamanlis will host a dinner in honour of the Presidents of Russia and Bulgaria.

The arrival of the two leaders in Athens has prompted the capital's Traffic Police to proceed with traffic adjustments in the city centre. The major traffic adjustments relate to streets around Athens Hilton, where President Putin will stay during his visit in Greece.