Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 9 / Trend /
Turkey will support building the Nabucco gas pipeline regardless of its EU membership negotiations, RIA Novosti reported Turkish governmental official Selim Kuneralp as saying.
"Turkey will continue to support Nabucco even if we do not achieve any progress in our EU membership negotiations," Kontakt radio station quoted the official as saying.
Kuneralp said Nabucco is beneficial for Turkey.
The Nabucco pipeline project comprises 15 countries and will transport Central Asian gas to Austria via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.
Nabucco negotiations have focused on ensuring the gas pipeline will be filled and have lasted over one year.
Experts believe that Nabucco talks have recommenced recently due to the Russian-Ukrainian gas conflict.
The Nabucco project worth 7.9 billion euro will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU by 2013. Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2010. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters per year. Nabucco shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE with 16.7 percent each
Negotiations on Turkey's joining the EU began in autumn 2006.
The sides must reach an agreement on cooperation and harmonize legislation in 35 spheres.