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Nabucco starts to lose ground even in Romania 

de Claudia Pirvoiu, transl/adapt C.B.     HotNews.ro
Joi, 28 mai 2009, 19:02 English | Top News

Romanian authorities are starting to lose their patience regarding the Nabucco project.  "Romania cannot wait for longer if this project isn’t going to materialise. The country will definitely join discussion for another project, I can’t say which", secretary of state for the Economy Ministry Tudor Serban said. Even if he can’t name names, all the roads lead to the Russian South Stream, Nabucco’s main rival.

Russian company Gazprom asked Romania for technical data necessary for the construction of the South Stream pipe line, on a recent visit minister Adriean Videanu made to Moscow. Nabucco’s start off should be signed in June, otherwise there will be little chances for the project to materialise, sources from the energy sector say. According to these, Nabucco is losing gas suppliers in the Caspian Sea, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Moreover, Uzbekistan will cooperate in a Caspian Sea-Russia pipeline project. "Any project must take into account Russia’s domination. Russia has the policy of using the gas from the countries once within its borders", Tudor Serban said.

Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc will not exclude getting involved in the South Stream project either. He recently declared that in terms of oil, natural gas and energy, Romania’s priorities were Nabucco, a Trieste-Constanta pipeline and the building a terminal for liquefied natural gas in Constanta. But Romania’s position enables it to not neglect other European projects, therefore Romania’s policy will be flexible in this sense, Boc noted.  Romania has already started looking for clients outside Europe.

Russia has already sealed deals with China and Azerbaijan. The contract with China alone is worth 25 billion dollars. "In this case, Europe is forced to have a unique voice. But during a crisis, the voice is rather protectionist than nationalist", said the president of the Industries and Services Commission of the Deputy Chamber Iulian Iancu. He noted that Romania has become a "white spot" in the hydrocarbons trade and that "Nabucco is an energy sector choice that cannot be taken without a political judgment". 


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