EU chief: New gas pipeline Greece-Bulgaria “means freedom”

EU chief: New gas pipeline Greece-Bulgaria “means freedom”

SOFIA, Bulgaria: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, chair of the European Union’s executive arm, was in Sofia, Bulgaria on October 1 to witness the opening of a natural gas link between Bulgaria and Greece.

Von der Leyen said the importance of the new pipeline was as an example of the EU’s determination to end dependence on Russian energy imports.

“This pipeline changes the energy security situation for Europe. This project means freedom,” von der Leyen told an audience of heads of state and government from the region.

The European Commission had previously contributed almost 250 million euros to finance the pipeline project, von der Leyen said.

The importance of the Greece-Bulgaria gas pipeline has increased dramatically since Moscow decided to cut off its natural gas supplies to Western Europe.

A second European pipeline began operating on October 1, delivering fuel through the Baltic Pipe, which was built to transport gas from Norway’s North Sea fields, through Denmark and across the Baltic Sea to northwestern Poland.

“People in Bulgaria and across Europe are feeling the consequences of Russia’s war. But thanks to projects like this, Europe will have enough gas for the winter,” von der Leyen said. “Europe has everything it needs to break away from our dependence on Russia. It’s a matter of political will.

The 115-mile pipeline runs from the northeastern Greek town of Komotini, where it links to the Trans-Adriatic pipeline, up to Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria.

“We have the opportunity to supply gas to the Western Balkans, to ensure supplies to Moldova and Ukraine,” said the Bulgarian head of the project, Teodora Georgieva, according to the Associated Press news agency.


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