Greece Russia, Greece and Bulgaria signed a deal Thursday to build a 175-mile pipeline to transport Russian oil to a port in northern Greece that the three governments hailed as helping to secure Western oil supplies.
The pipeline from Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Burgas will transport crude to the port of Alexandroupolis. The project will improve networks in southeastern Europe that transport oil and gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European Union.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened to scrap the deal unless economic disputes were resolved quickly.
Russia already provides other parts of Europe with a third of its oil and 40 percent of its natural gas, and the pipeline deal is likely to deepen that dependence on energy from Moscow, whose reliance as a supplier has been questioned.
First conceived in 1993, the $1.2 billion Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline will link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, avoiding Turkey's crowded Bosphorus strait.