(RIA Novosti) - The future of the Western-backed Nabucco trans-Caspian gas pipeline that is designed to bypass Russia could be in jeopardy, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet said on Tuesday.
Commenting on the results of talks held between the Turkmen president and Turkish leaders on Monday in Ankara, the paper said that the parties had failed to agree on the delivery of Turkmenistan's natural gas to Turkey for the Nabucco project.
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. Construction has been tentatively scheduled to begin in 2010.
Without the support of Turkmenistan, a major natural gas producer in Central Asia, the Nabucco project is unrealistic, the paper said.
In what was widely seen as a major blow to the Nabucco project, Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan signed a deal in December to supply the Asian states' Caspian gas via Russia. Moscow also reached deals with Bulgaria and Serbia earlier this year on the South Stream pipeline to pump Central Asian gas to Europe.