Slovakia along with four other EU countries has signed an agreement to move forward in the development of the Nabucco Gas Transmission System. Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Peter Stano told TASR that the agreement was a valuable step towards the diversification of routes and sources of natural gas.
The agreement, signed on July 13 Monday in Ankara, Turkey, would begin to create the legal framework for the planned gas pipeline (from Central Asia via the Caspian Sea to Europe), one of the main infrastructure projects supported by the European Commission, which is backing the project to he tune of €250 million. The agreement was signed by four EU countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania) as well as Turkey.
"If the new gas pipeline is successful, it will create conditions in the medium term for diversifying gas routes and sources in the Central European region, including Slovakia," said Stano.
The project was also welcomed by Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek. "If Nabucco is created in its original form, it will be an important source of gas for Europe. For us, it could serve as an alternative route. During a crisis, it would in effect solve Slovakia's problems," Jahnatek told journalists.
The Nabucco gas pipeline would be built by a private consortium with completion plan by 2014. The pipeline is designed to transport gas equal to approximately 5 percent of the European Union's total consumption. According to the project webpage, Nabucco would connect the Caspian region and the Middle East via Turkey to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria and beyond. However, at present, the project has yet to secure enough suppliers to fill its capacity. Prospective suppliers include Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and eventually Russia. It is hoped that the new gas pipeline will reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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