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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis addresses Eastern Partnership Summit

  • [01] Karamanlis addresses Eastern Partnership Summit

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed the inaugural session of the Eastern Partnership Summit, organised by the Czech European Union Presidency in Prague on Thursday, stressing the importance of energy interdependence between the European Union and its partners in eastern Europe, as well as the need for the creation of a legally binding framework guaranteeing the security of investments and market deregulation.

    Karamanlis reminded that last January the EU had faced the most serious crisis in its history concerning the supply and transfer of natural gas, and stressed that the EU's current summit with its eastern partners is coming at the most suitable moment for an improvement in energy cooperation and the strengthening of energy security.

    The prime minister pointed out that energy security constitutes one of the main challenges of our times and that, regardless of the varying importance that the issue has in each country, joint perception and consensus exists among Europeans.

    Karamanlis stressed that the demand for natural gas is not expected to decrease in the coming years and for this reason he expressed clear support for promoting investments in infrastructures with the aim of achieving better diversification of energy sources in Europe. In this framework, as he said, the modernisation of existing infrastructures must be backed, including the natural gas transportation system in Ukraine.

    He further underlined the importance of developing regional electric power markets having an advanced energy performance, stressing at the same time that the deepening of the EU's energy cooperation with its eastern partners is of fundamental significance.

    "This is also the reason why Greece supports the creation of a targeted regional Action Plan for Energy Infrastructures," the prime minister said and also pointed to the need for widening liquefied natural gas imports in the EU. He mentioned in particular that Greece is convinced that the possibilities of the liquefied natural gas of EU member-states being turned into gas must be boosted, especially in such regions as southeastern Europe and the Baltic.

    "In this perspective," the prime minister further said, "Greece is examining the construction of a second terminal station for liquefied natural gas on the coast of the Aegean" and noted that "similar terminal stations must be developed in other European regions as well."

    Lastly, Karamanlis stressed that the importance of the EU's strategy for the Eastern Partnership Summit lies in the possibilities that this strategy provides for strengthening the regional stability, the relations of good neighbourliness, the economic progress of Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.

    Addressing reporters on the sidelines of the Summit the Greek prime minister stressed the special importance of maintaining good relations between the European Union's member-states and its eastern partners.

    Karamanlis said that the current meeting is part of the framework of maintaining good relations, stressing at the same time that the aim of the Eastern Partnership Summit is a rapprochement between the eastern partners and the EU without, however, this meaning that a perspective exists for the accession of these countries to the EU.

    He further pointed out that Thursday's meeting will help the improvement of relations of good neighbourliness and that its character is a supplementary one in relations between the EU member-states and these countries.

    The prime minister concluded that Greece desires special relations with the eastern partners, stressing the need for the promotion of political and economic reforms in these six countries, namely Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia and Armenia.

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