Friday, 14 January 2011

EU gas agreement with Azerbaijan - "major breaktrough" may be illusory

The European Union has signed a natural gas agreement with Azerbaijan. EU Commission president José Barroso called the agreement "a major breaktrough". However, the agreement does not specify when and how much natural gas will be delivered. And with Russia doing its utmost to prevent EU from becoming less dependent on Russian gas, it is unlikely that the new EU agreement with Azerbaijan will lead to any real "breaktrough".

Russian officials and those of gas-giant Gazprom have often cast doubt on the chances of EU projects getting off the ground. Just this week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pointed out Nabucco's failings to this point, suggesting it had little chance of success compared to projects like South Stream that already had funding and gas behind them.

"Nabucco's major problem is a lack of guaranteed volumes of raw materials and no source to fill this system," Putin told RIA Novosti. "Russia will not deliver anything there, Iranian deposits are not explored, and Azerbaijan's volumes are small. Moreover, Azerbaijan has signed a delivery contract with Russia."

Read the entire RFERL story here.

No comments: