ANKARA, Turkey, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- An agreement between Ankara and Moscow for natural gas deliveries won't do anything to impact the development of Nabucco, a Turkish official said.
Russian gas company Gazprom recently landed a deal with Turkish pipeline company BOTAS for the South Stream natural gas pipeline. That project is one of Moscow's plans for adding diversity to the European energy market. Most of Russia's gas for Europe runs through Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine.
South Stream is seen as a rival to the planned Nabucco pipeline, which would bring natural gas to European consumers from non-Russian suppliers. Nabucco and South Stream would both pass through Turkish territory.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, however, said the BOTAS deal with South Stream wasn't a blow to plans for Nabucco.
"All the statements that implementation of Nabucco project will slow down after the signing the agreement on the South Stream, are wrong," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet as saying.
South Stream would be sourced only by Russia while Nabucco directors maintain their project is based on a multisourced concept.
Energy disputes between Moscow and Kiev sparked an energy debate in the region over how best to keep natural gas flowing to Europe. Gazprom in 2009 cut supplies through Ukraine following a dispute over contracts and debt.