Greece will buy Russian gas at a price of $396 US dollars per 1,000 cubic metres, Georgios Chelikidis, the General Manager of Prometheus Gas S.A., a Greek-Russian joint venture with participation of Russia’s Gazprom Export, told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

He said Greece had recently signed a contract with Russia’s gas giant Gazprom within the framework of the current intergovernmental agreement on gas supplies up to 2016, with an option of extending it for ten years more. “We have signed a good contract with Gazprom, both in terms of the price and in terms of supplies volumes,” Chelikidis said. “The contract satisfies both Greece and Gazprom. It provides for annual gas supplies of about two billion cubic metres from 2016. Moreover, it provides for a certain margin – the Greeks may take more if they need.”

In his words, cooperation with Russia was carried out “at a rather high level.” “There is good understanding. Gas price talks proceeded smoothly and the price was fixed at $396 per 1,000 cubic metres,” he noted. “The agreement was extended for ten years more, till 2026, which only strengthens our cooperation.” The long-term contract on Russian pipeline gas supplies via Bulgaria “has ensured development prospects for Greece,” Chelikidis said.

When he had been asked if possible construction of a branch line from the South Stream gas mains Athens had recently asked if it could help Greece to diversify gas supplies, Chelikidis said, “Naturally.” “Apart from becoming a transit country for natural gas, Greece would have a good alternative route in case gas supplies via Ukraine are interrupted,” he noted.

According to earlier reports, Greece’s Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change said on February 25 that the country’s state gas company DEPA and Russia’s Gazprom had agreed a 15% discount on the current gas price exported to Greece. The agreement on discounts would have a retroactive effect and would be applicable to gas supplies executed after July 1, 2013. This agreement would be in force within the framework of the current intergovernmental agreement till 2016 and could be extended for ten years.