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#17 - JRL 2009-9 - JRL Home
Nabucco no alternative to Russian gas supplies - pundits

Moscow/Baku, 13 January: The Nabucco project will not be able to become an alternative to Russian gas supplies to the European Union, the director of the (Russian) National Energy Security Fund, Konstantin Simonov, has said.

"Despite all the emotions in Europe, they understand perfectly well that Nabucco cannot substitute for the gas volumes which Russia supplies," Simonov told Interfax news agency on Tuesday (13 January). (Passage omitted: background information).

"The Nabucco project will be implemented in 2013 at its best and gas volumes in this direction (will be) many times less than those provided by Russia," Simonov said. He went on to say that the EU is clearly exaggerating the possibilities for diversification of gas supplies (to Europe) in this case. (Passage omitted).

The gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine has strengthened the positions of Azerbaijan on the world energy market, the general director of the Information Analytical Centre for the Study of Political Processes in the Post-Soviet Area, Aleksey Vlasov, has said.

"The gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine has strengthened Azerbaijan's positions in the big energy game and again made the subject of the Nabucco pipeline topical," Vlasov told Interfax-Azerbaijan news agency.

At the same time he stressed that the strengthened positions of Azerbaijan will stiffen the competition between Baku and Moscow.

"I would not hurry to say that it will lead to a fresh spiral of competitive fight between Russia and Azerbaijan in the energy sphere. First of all, because Gazprom's proposal on buying Azerbaijani gas is still valid. Second of all, because of numerous ambiguities about prospects for alternative projects. There is too much politics and too little economy in them," Vlasov said.

In this respect it is necessary to wait till summer 2009 to be able to say something definite on the subject, he added.