The leaders of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia met at the Snagoy Palace by Bucharest on Friday to discuss a belt of interconnections among their countries and energy issues.
At a joint press conference, the four leader said that the interconnection belt will link Greece, Bulgaria and Romania in the East, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia in the North as well as Greece and Serbia through the Republic of North Macedonia.
The interconnection will not only accelerate trade among these countries and boost exports and tourism, but it will also connect energy networks.
“Significant infrastructure will accelerate the trade among the countries and boost exports beyond, but will also facilitate movement of the citizens of the four countries. The foreseen infrastructure includes telecommunications and high-speed roads that will also boost tourism. Underlying all, however, will be the idea of connected energy networks,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during the joint press conference of the four leaders.
The Balkans is emerging as an energy hub that “redraws the energy map,” Tsipras added referring to important interconnection projects among the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas.
He referred to the IGB pipeline connecting the Trans Adriatic Pipeline which already transports Azerbaijani gas from Northern Greece to the rest of Europe, but will draw new capabilities from the re-installation of liquefied gas (LNG) platform in Alexandroupolis and the existing infrastructure in Revythousa, in the Saronic Gulf outside Athens.
Romanian host, Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă stressed also the importance of inter-connectivity in the energy sector.
“Greece and Romania have common goals in terms of planning in the energy sector and ensuring energy security,” Dăncilă whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU said.
“Energy has a priority on the agenda in Romania, we support energy security at a regional level,” she added
President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic called on Greece, Romania and Bulgaria to support his country’s efforts to become a member of the EU.
Vucic said talks focused on energy issues and on the best way to connect natural gas networks as well as other energy resources.
Bulgaria’s president Boyko Borisov expressed the certainty that Greece and Bulgaria will sign a joint venture agreement for natural gas pipelines by June.