Europe delayed alternative gas pipeline: Czech PM
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 19 / Trend , E.Ostapenlo /
Europe delayed building an alternative gas pipeline, EU Chairman and Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told Trend in an exclusive interview.
"Unfortunately, recent events have proven that my words are true about Europe starting to look for a solution 5 minutes after midnight," Topolanek said.
Russia suspended gas supplies to Ukraine as the country had not signed a contract for 2009.
Later, on Jan. 17, Gazprom suspended gas supplies to Europe after Ukraine began siphoning off gas. Serbia, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Slovakia suffered from suspension.
According to the PM, energy security is a priority for the EU
"It is clear that the real security of energy supplies is connected with the independence of the supplying and transiting countries," Topolanek said. In addition to solving the gas crisis, Topolanek will meet with countries in the Caucasus and Caspian region to discuss the Nabucco gas pipeline project. In spring 2009, the Czech Republic plans to convene the Summit of the Southern Corridor where Nabucco participant states will discuss the project's implementation.
The Nabucco project worth $12.4 billion will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU. Construction of the pipeline is expected to commence in 2010. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters per year.
A.Badalova contributed in the article.
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