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NABUCCO project problems

By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 11
At the Prague Energy summit on May 8 a joint declaration on the NABUCCO project was signed by Azerbaijan, Georgia and Egypt. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, who are also listed as NABUCCO partners, did not sign it, but it was promised in the declaration that by June 2009 all intergovernmental documents will be drawn up and signed by all interested parties.

There are different underlying issues concerning this project. The Central Asian countries are gambling, challenging Russia, and also business is business, and whoever pays the most money will be the winner. The proposed division of the Caspian Sea into nationally-controlled zones also affects this project, and Iran, the possible NABUCCO gas supplier, is not yet involved.

It is interesting to note that the NABUCCO declaration was not signed by Ukraine, which is more interested in implementing the White Stream project. Turkey and Ukraine are competing against each other by promoting these projects. NABUCCO, which will possibly cost more than USD 7 billion, should pump natural gas from the Caspian countries to Europe through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, bypassing Russia. Construction of the pipeline should be completed by 2013 and gas supply should start by 2014.