US Ambassador: "Greece is called upon to play its leadership role in the Balkans"

US Ambassador George Tsunis greece

US Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis on Wednesday praised Greece's role in supplying energy to the countries of the region after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in a discussion during the Economist Conference in Athens.

"The West has disappointed the Balkans, we promised a lot and did little. We have to invest in the Balkans and integrate them into Europe," Ambassador Tsunis said, adding: "Greece is called upon to play its leadership role in Southeastern Europe."

The reverse flow in the natural gas pipelines under the Greek leadership will ensure energy flows right up to Ukraine, he said.

Tsunis also announced the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the organisation US Aid and Greece for the region's electricity sector.

Sdoukou: Cautiously optimistic about covering energy needs in case of supply disruption

Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Alexandra Sdoukou was cautiously optimistic on whether energy needs can be covered in the event of a supply disruption, while responding to a question regarding developments in the Middle East at the Economist conference on Wednesday.

Sdoukou underlined that Greece is now in a better position compared to previous years but also compared to other countries, as the use of natural gas for the production of electricity has decreased, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) infrastructure has been developed and there a new coal-burning PPC power plant in Ptolemaida is in operation.

She added that there is concern over prices as the market is volatile, but underlined that in previous years when prices soared, the state intervened with measures that restricted the cost for households and businesses. The deputy minister also highlighted the reduction in the cost of energy, the mobilisation of huge investments and the assurance of energy security and independence.

Skylakakis: Possible positive surprises in energy prices

Environment and Energy Minister Theodoros Skylakakis on Wednesday that there may be "positive surprises" on the energy prices "front" in the coming period, speaking at the Economist Conference in Athens. He referred to the high natural gas reserves in Europe's underground depots, the availability of liquified natural gas (LNG) and the good weather conditions.

He added, however, that if the crisis in the Middle East spreads there could be negative surprises instead. Asked about support for consumers, he replied that there will be announcements next week regarding measures targeting households that are vulnerable in financial and energy terms.

Skylakakis also added that if there are price hikes for a long period then the government will intervene.

The minister also presented investments in the energy sector that are in progress, such as the floating LNG terminal at the port of Alexandroupolis, exploration for fossil fuels, the Greece-Cyprus-Israel and Greece-northern Africa electricity interconnections and the offshore wind farms, about which there will be announcements in the coming week.

Dendias: Greece seeks to consolidate stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean

In the Eastern Mediterranean, as a member of the European Union and NATO, Greece seeks to consolidate stability, security and create conditions for economic growth, Defence Minister Nikos Dendias said on Tuesday, October 24, speaking at the Economist's 27th Government Roundtable, in Lagonisi, in the section "Defence and Security in the Eastern Mediterranean".

Dendias, among other things, underlined that "Greece directly and from the first moment condemned the terrorist attacks of Hamas". He described them as "acts of blind violence that, apart from anything else, cost the lives of a great many civilians, and which, in our judgment, weaken the legitimate expectations of the Palestinian people."

"We Greeks", he added, "have always perceived the Mediterranean as a bridge, not as a physical barrier. As a bridge that unites peoples, cultures, civilisations.

"After all, the stabilising role of our country is proven by the hundreds, more than 350 agreements that we have concluded in the last four years, with countries from all over the world, particularly the two Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreements between Greece and the United States."

"We also believe in the presence in our region of the United States and NATO, we believe that they can act as a foundation of stability.

"We believe that NATO is not only a Defence Alliance, but an alliance for the defence of values and principles, and that the Russian invasion of Ukraine highlighted precisely this role of NATO."

READ MORE: Erdogan says Hamas 'is not a terror group', calls it a 'patriotic organization that defends its territory and people.'


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