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Europe’s first supply of Caspian gas opened by Greece and Turkey

The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey met along their countries’ heavily militarized border littered with landmines on Sunday to open a gas pipeline project that will eventually ease Europe’s dependency on Russian oil and gas.

The 300-kilometer pipeline project is seen as an important stepping stone towards improving bilateral relations between the two traditional foes and will provide the European Union with its first supply of natural gas from the Caspian region. The Greek-Turkish pipeline will run from Bursa, Turkey to Komotini in Greece. The pipeline will later be extended under the Adriatic Sea to Italy, connecting natural gas fields in the Caspian and Central Asia regions, to help supply energy hungry markets in Europe by 2011. Once the undersea link to Italy is completed, annual capacity will reach 11.6 billion cubic meters, some 70 per cent of which will be for the Italian market. (m&