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Nabucco in danger

Nabucco in danger
The importance of the Nabucco pipeline project will be struck a fatal blow by Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Austria.

Russia to cooperate with OMV in Europe, Nabucco in danger

The importance of the Nabucco pipeline project will be struck a fatal blow by Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Austria.

The Nabucco pipeline was planned in order to bypass Russia in the transportation of energy resources in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Basin to European Union countries; however, Putin guaranteed that the energy resources of Central Asia would be transported through Russia, during his latest visit to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan two weeks ago.

Russia is now planning to sign important agreements with Austrian state-controlled company OMV, which also presides over the Nabucco project. With these agreements Russia will curb the European leg of the Nabucco project and it will no longer be viable. Russian energy company Gazprom had previously announced that the Nabucco project is no longer feasible.

On his Austrian trip Putin will be accompanied by a delegation of top businessmen, including the head of Gazprom, who is to discuss long-term contracts for gas supplies from Russia with Austrian officials. According to Kremlin aide Sergei Prikhodko, there are some 1,200 companies and 500 joint ventures from Austria currently operating in Russia, and bilateral trade between the two countries grew 45 percent in 2006, to $5 billion.

Prikhodko said the Russian side would be willing to discuss US plans for a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, the deployment of which is seen by Russia as a potential threat to its national security. "As far as we understand, Austria is not particularly enthusiastic about it (the US missile shield)," he said. "We are not going to put much emphasis on the topic, but will be ready to discuss it if they show interest." Austrian President Heinz Fischer said on Tuesday, ahead of Putin's visit, that the Pentagon's plans for a missile shield in Europe should be subjected to open discussions between countries directly involved, and those affected. Washington claims that missile defense radar in the Czech Republic would help counter possible threats from "rogue states" such as Iran and North Korea.

www.TurkishMaritime.Com.tr

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