Greece said Thursday that Libya could plug the gap in the country's oil supply created by an EU-imposed embargo on Iranian oil, which accounted for about a third of Athens' imports.
"Given that oil production in Libya is climbing back to pre-war levels, Libya is an alternative supply source," foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras told reporters.
Iran has announced it was halting exports to several European countries, in apparent retaliation for an oil embargo that is to come fully into effect July 1 as part of Western sanctions against Tehran's nuclear programme.
Crisis-hit Greece imports around a third of its oil from Iran at very advantageous credit terms. Italy and Spain are also major Iranian oil importers.
Observers fear that any new supplier delivering oil to Greece will be less generous than Iran and could send fuel prices soaring and tempers flaring in the debt-burdened country.
The EU imported some 600,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day in the first 10 months of last year, making it a key market alongside India and China, which has refused to bow to pressure from Washington to dry up Iran's oil revenues.
(Source: The Daily Star)