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mitsotakis-putin
Φώτο: Ο πρωθυπουργός Κ. Μητσοτάκης με τον Β. Πούτιν

Crucial talks on natural gas: what Mitsotakis told Putin

As there is still no agreement between Gazprom and DEPA on supply prices for next year, the Prime Minister stressed that for 30 years Russia has been a reliable supplier of natural gas and Greece, in turn, is also a reliable partner.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday where they looked at the framework of negotiations with Russia and Gazprom on 2022 gas prices, said the Greek premier in Sochi.

As there is still no agreement between Gazprom and DEPA on supply prices for next year, the Prime Minister stressed that for 30 years Russia has been a reliable supplier of natural gas and Greece, in turn, is also a reliable partner and that is important, as he said, "despite the volatile conditions in markets, that any adjustments should not deviate significantly from the existing agreement".

The current agreement with Gazprom provides for gas pricing at 100% based on the price of crude oil and gives Greece a relatively low supply cost at this time, as the connection with gas prices at the Dutch junction has been avoided. Today, the price in the Netherlands exceeds 101 euros, with a daily increase of 6%, while on a 12-month basis it is up 542%.

The Prime Minister's reference to adjustments that should not deviate significantly from the existing agreement signals the intention of the Greek side to seek a compromise for 2022, which could involve a percentage of the pricing tied to oil prices and, to a lesser extent, to gas prices.

On its part, Gazprom wants to pass in terms of contracts with Greece from 2022 an agreement where pricing will be done to a greater extent or entirely based on European gas prices. This is something that is already happening in the long-term contracts it has with most European countries after the intervention of the Commission, which forced the Russian monopoly to gradually abolish oil-based pricing, which for a number of years had adverse effects on European countries.

It is evident that negotiations remain open, based on the statements of the two leaders, although there are only three weeks left until the end of the year. In the absence of an agreement, DEPA will continue to supply gas on the basis of what is already in force, ie with a connection to the price of oil, and Gazprom will have no choice but to challenge this pricing in arbitration.

Putin avoided any, even indirect, reference to the ongoing gas price negotiations and merely stressed the importance of Russia being a key supplier to Greece.

In particular, the Russian President stressed that energy was a key area in today's talks with the Greek Prime Minister and, in general, in bilateral relations and reminded that Russia meets 40% of Greece's needs through the new Turkish Stream pipeline, which passes through Turkey. He noted that in 2021 there was an increase in gas exports to Greece by 12% and noted that the Russian side is fulfilling in good faith and fully its obligations to Greece and Europe.

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