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Written by SOT.COM.AL 1 Tetor 2022
Bulgaria and Greece today commissioned a gas pipeline that will help reduce Southeastern Europe's dependence on Russian gas and increase energy security.
The 182km pipeline will provide relief in this area for Bulgaria, which has struggled to secure gas supplies at affordable prices since late April, when Russia's Gazprom cut off supplies due to Sofia's refusal to pay in roubles. .
Russia has cut its gas supplies to Europe after the West imposed sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, leaving European Union countries scrambling to secure alternative supplies amid rising prices.
"This pipeline will change the 'game' for Bulgaria and for Europe's energy security. It means freedom, freedom from dependence on Russian gas," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during an inauguration ceremony in Sofia attended by the leaders of Bulgaria, Greece, Azerbaijan, Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia.
"Both here in Bulgaria and throughout Europe, people are feeling the consequences of Russia's war. But thanks to projects like this, Europe will have enough gas for the winter,” she said.
The Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector Pipeline (IGB) will transport 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azerbaijani gas to Bulgaria.
With an initial capacity of 3 bcm per year and plans to later increase this to 5 bcm, the pipeline could provide non-Russian gas to Serbia, North Macedonia, Romania and further to Moldova and Ukraine.
It will transport gas from the northern Greek city of Komotini to Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. The IGB is connected to another pipeline, part of the Southern Gas Corridor that transports Azerbaijani gas to Europe.