EU Seeking Energy Independence From Russia

06/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The European Union and Turkey gave fresh political impetus on Friday to the ambitious Nabucco pipeline project, although key Central Asian gas suppliers held off on pledging their support. The EU sought to kick-start the long-planned Nabucco pipeline, which is to deliver Caspian gas while bypassing Russia and Ukraine, by launching plans at a summit in Prague to tie countries in the region into a broader Southern Corridor infrastructure project. The 3,300-kilometre (2,050-mile) pipeline between Turkey and Austria, which is supposed to start pumping gas to Europe by 2014, needs an estimated 7.9 billion euros (10.6 billion dollars) to start running. Aspirations of closer ties with the bloc also played a role for EU-candidate Turkey, which had threatened to block Nabucco in January over a lack of progress in its accession talks. 1

EU officials insisted the meeting was nonetheless a success, with all eight countries invited committed to the agreement's guiding principles - commitments to diversification of supply based on market needs. Central Asian countries such as Turkmenistan are "not comfortable" with signing legally binding and long-term agreements, said Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, which now holds the rotating EU presidency. 2

  1. EU's Nabucco Gas Pipeline Snubbed by Key Suppliers (Yahoo Energy)
  2. EU Seeking Energy Independence From Russia (The Globe and Mail)