In a major new development concerning the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to Europe, Russia and Greece have signed a memorandum on joint construction of the pipeline across Greece.
The extension, called South European Pipeline, will begin in 2016 and is forecasted to be completed by 2019. Construction costs, estimated to be around $2 billion, will be covered initially by Russia, with Greece to repay its benefactor at a later date.
Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said the Friday meeting was "historical".
"The pipeline will connect not only Greece and Russia, but also the peoples of Europe,” Lafazanis was quoted as saying by Sputnik news agency. “Our message is a message of stability and friendship... The pipeline we are beginning today is not against anyone in Europe or anyone else, it is a pipeline for peace, stability in the whole region."