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EU Approves Pipeline Deal Linking Azerbaijan to Italy Via Greece

The European Commission on March 3 gave its approval to a deal with Greece for the construction of a pipeline meant to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European Union.

The 878-kilometer Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is meant to reduce Europe's energy dependency on Russia.

Plans call for the pipeline to link Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II natural gas field to Italy by passing through Greece and Albania and then under the Adriatic Sea.

The pipeline is meant to connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) in Turkey -- crossing from Turkey into northern Greece near the Greek border village of Kipoi.

The first shipments to Europe are scheduled for 2020.

In a statement on March 3, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said investment incentives offered by the Greek government "are limited to what is necessary to make the project happen" in compliance with state aid rules.

With reporting by DPA
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