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  Aleksandr Kiseliov. Europe is thinking about the pipe

2009 01 30

No strict decision concerning the construction of Nabucco was passed at the Conference in Budapest.

On 26 – 27 January an International Conference was held in Budapest, where the perspective of the construction of the gas pipeline was discussed.

According to the outcomes of the Conference, where countries from the East and Central Europe were represented, including Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and others, it was not even decided whether Europe is in favour of this project. Besides, as stated by Andris Piebalgs, the European Energy Commissioner, such decision may be passed on Wednesday.

Such decision should be approved by the deputies of the European Parliament, reported PRAIM-TASS. However, no progress was achieved at the summit with regards to the key issue – the issue of funding.

Prime Minister of the Check Republic Mirek Topolanek noted that project Nabucco is not anti-Russian. However, Russian plans on the construction of the Nord Stream and the South Stream by-passing the Ukraine and the Baltic States are threatening Nabucco.

“These routes are by-passing the Ukraine and the Central European countries. At the same time high dependency of the EU on Russia remains. This is direct threat for the project Nabucco”- said Topolanek.

According to the words of analysts, the project is surrounded by specific circumstances. Banks are not willing to extend funding before they get assurance of gas supply for the project, and the potential gas exporters are not willing to supply gas before getting assurances for the development of the required facilities.

Topolanek had to admit there are no guarantees at the moment as on crediting as on gas supply.

This has been actually supported by Thomas Mirow, President of the European Bank for the Development and Reconstruction, and Philippe Maystadt, President of the European Investment Bank, still waiting for time, when Nabucco will have gas within its own control. Otherwise the project does not look attractive. Moreover, such large players in the EU as Germany, Italy and France are not talking much of Nabucco and didn’t show much interest in the summit of Budapest either.

Material has been prepared by the Centre for Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from “«ВЗГЛЯД“ of 28 January 2009.

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