The intergovernmental agreement about the implementation of the Nabucco gas pipeline project was signed in Ankara, Turkey on July 13. The pipeline will be built bypassing Ukraine and Russia. The chairman of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, stated that the construction of the pipeline became inevitable after the agreement had been signed. As a result, Turkmenistan, which sells a lot of its gas to Ukraine, will gain direct access to European markets, which may result in a price growth on fuel for Ukraine, Europe’s second largest nation.
The new pipeline is to be put in operation in 2014. The members of the Nabucco project do not conceal the fact that this is a political, rather than an economic project. Nabucco will be built to deprive Moscow of an opportunity to control gas shipments to Europe.
The members of the project could not sign the agreement since 2002 since it was not clear which country would be exporting its gas along the new pipeline. The gas from Egypt and Iraq was not enough, whereas the countries of Central Asia were following Russia as their major partner.
The European Union and the United States were showing more pressure on gas exporting countries promising support and benefits in return. As a result, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan agreed to fill the new pipeline with their gas. US officials did not conceal the feeling of deep satisfaction from such a decision.
Mikhail Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, arrived in Ankara to witness the beginning of the new project. Georgia does not participate in the construction of the pipeline, but the country took a lot of effort to make the anti-Russian project become real.
Mikhail Delyagin, the Director of the Institute for Globalization Problems, said that Nabucco was obviously a geo-strategic project of the United States.
“The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline separated Russia from the Caucasus, and Nabucco will contribute even more to it. Europe would obviously prefer to purchase gas from the Asian states, rather than from Russia’s Gazprom, because the Asian gas is not complicated with transit problems in Ukraine. One should also bear in mind the fact that the USA promised its support to Georgia prior to its aggression against South Ossetia to ensure Nabucco. The new pipeline will be built near South Ossetia, and the USA will need to establish either Georgia’s or NATO’s control over the nation. This is a weighty argument to have Georgia as a NATO member. The Georgian army will be provided with weapons to defend the competitive pipeline,” the expert said.
Nabucco’s capacity of 31 billion cubic meters is evaluated at approximately 7.9 billion EUR.
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