Russian RIA Novosti reported, Iran could replace Turkmenistan in the Western-backed Nabucco pipeline project designed to pump gas from the Caspian to Europe bypassing Russia, the EU's new ambassador in Azerbaijan said Friday.
Alan Waddams told the Azerbaijani ANS TV channel that EU representatives, currently on a visit to Turkmenistan, said Ashgabat had agreed to export gas to Europe via Nabucco, but if the Turkmen side changed its mind, then Iran could step in as an alternative.
The $7-8 billion Nabucco pipeline, backed by the EU and the U.S., is expected to link energy-rich Central Asia to Europe through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.
The European diplomat said Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov announced at the meeting his agreement for gas exports.
Construction on the pipeline with a projected annual capacity of between 20 and 30 billion cubic meters has been tentatively scheduled to begin in 2010.
Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and, more recently, Iraq have been seen as possible suppliers for the project. Iraq is being backed by the United States.
Last Mod: 13 Nisan 2008, 10:54