According to RIA Novosti news agency, not only did not give up Russian gas, the European Union (EU) country also started buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Moscow last year.
“We have not received any signal that local companies will terminate these agreements before the scheduled date. On the contrary, in 2022, in addition to gas supplied through pipelines under existing contracts, Athens will also import more Russian LNG,” Maslov added.
Citing data from the Russian statistical agency, Ambassador Maslov emphasized that natural gas, petroleum and petroleum products will dominate the fields of Greek imports from Russia in 2022.
“Publicly, the Greek leadership favors a complete abandonment of Russian gas. However, it is difficult to say when Greece will have the opportunity to do that,” the Russian diplomat stressed.
Maslov also pointed to major gas import contracts between the two countries, such as a valid long-term contract between Gazprom Export (a subsidiary of Russian Gazprom Group) and three Greek oil operators. He stressed that the parties have fully complied with their obligations.
When asked to comment on Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ claim that Athens could supply gas to Ukraine instead of Russia, the diplomat said: “Greece cannot produce natural gas yet. for themselves and the development of local mines is still in its infancy.”
According to Maslov, Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ statement may refer to the idea of making Greece an energy hub. From there, the country’s gas will be transshipped to the Balkans and Eastern European countries, including Ukraine.
After the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Greek-Russian relations have reached an all-time low. Moscow always mentions polls showing that the vast majority of Greeks (63%) oppose supplying arms to Ukraine because it puts Athens “in danger”.
Greece was one of the first countries to send weapons to Ukraine on February 27, 2022, days after Russia launched a special military operation in the neighboring country. The country sent 40 tons of equipment through Poland on two C-130 planes. Later, Greece also sent many new batches of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine.
However, Greece said it would not supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
“We already provide significant military support to Ukraine, such as armored infantry vehicles, but we will not provide Leopard 2 tanks for the simple reason that they are absolutely necessary for the defense strategy. We want to help Ukraine, but not at the expense of our defense capabilities,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on February 1.