Greece, Russia and Bulgaria will finalize the text of a long-delayed, US$1 billion oil pipeline deal early next month, Greece's development minister said Monday.
Working parties from the three countries will meet Feb. 7 at the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas "with the goal of finalizing the details of the agreement," Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said.
The 280-kilometer (175-mile) pipeline would link Burgas with Greece's Aegean Sea port of Alexandroupolis, providing an alternative transit route past the crowded Bosporus Straits in Turkey.
The project, under discussion for more than a decade, was given a boost in September when the heads of government of the three countries met in Athens to voice support for the pipeline, reports AP.
A consortium of companies from the three countries including Russia's Rozneft, Gazprom Neft and Transneft, as well as Greece's Hellenic Petroleum SA will build and operate the project.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia