BUCHAREST, Romania, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The Nabucco natural gas pipeline for Europe is one of the major diplomatic accomplishments for Bucharest, the Romanian president announced.
"The Nabucco project is one of the substantial foreign policy achievements of Romania," said President Traian Basescu.
Romania joined regional partners at a July signing ceremony for Nabucco in Ankara. The country is positioned as a potential host for Nabucco, as well as the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline.
He said that now that the political will for Nabucco development has emerged, the focus must move toward securing the necessary gas resources for the pipeline, Romania's Financiarul reports.
Russian gas giant Gazprom cut gas supplies to Ukraine following a January dispute over debts and contracts, exposing gaps in European energy security. Russia and Europe are backing separate pipeline options to diversify the regional energy sector.
The $10.3 billion Nabucco pipeline would bring natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe, though it lacks firm commitments from potential suppliers.
European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told lawmakers this week that Nabucco was not endangered by Russian plans to expand its regional gas networks.