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Romania lobbies for Nabucco

March 20, 2009 at 10:23 AM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, March 20 (UPI) -- The planned Nabucco gas pipeline for Europe must be included as a unique project as part of a final plan set for adoption by European leaders, Romania said.

"I assure you that Nabucco will be included in the final document," said Romanian President Traian Basescu. Romania does not block and will never block this project, but it has arguments for Nabucco to be included in the final document."

Led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European officials seemingly lessened the emphasis on the $10.7 billion Nabucco pipeline in a sweeping energy proposal, instead referring to a "southern gas corridor" as an inclusive option that includes several other regional projects.

Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Cristian Diaconescu, however, warned his country may balk on the $5.1 billion energy plan without Nabucco, Romania's Financiarul reports.

"We have clearly said that we do not accept the replacement of the name of Nabucco with 'projects on the southern corridor,'" he said.

European officials, however, said the reference to a southern gas corridor does not mean Nabucco is no longer an option.

"The fact that we have changed the name doesn't mean that Nabucco has disappeared. It's there with another name," European Commission energy spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny told EurActiv.

Nabucco would transport natural gas from Caspian and Middle Eastern suppliers to European markets through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.

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