Russia signs Europe gas link deals

Four countries agree deal with Moscow as it seeks to reduce impact of rival pipeline.

    Putin and Berlusconi oversaw the gas agreements in Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort [AFP]

    The pipeline, a joint venture between Eni and Gazprom, will stretch from Sochi to Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Hungary and Italy, bypassing Ukraine, which has been involved in disputes over gas prices with Russia.

    Nabucco pipeline

    A gas pricing dispute in January this year led to severe energy shortages across Europe, prompting European Union nations to press ahead with the alternative Nabucco pipeline, which would not rely on Russian supplies.

    Gazprom criticised EU states over the Nabucco deal, saying: "Activities around Nabucco are being initiated by politicians, most often from across the Atlantic, because it is a political not an economic project."

    The Nabucco pipeline would stretch 3,300km from Turkey to Austria and intends to transport up to 31bn cubic metres of gas each year to western Europe.

    But the project faces the challenge of finding alternate gas suppliers before it can get off the ground, with only companies in Azerbaijan agreeing to feed the pipeline so far.

    Turkmenistan, seen as the other big potential supplier to Nabucco, refused to join the project at a summit in early May in Prague, despite its uneasy relations with Moscow.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.