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Poland brokers EU deal on Nabucco gas pipeline: report

20 July 2011, 10:37 CET
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(WARSAW) - Poland, holding the EU presidency, has brokered a deal on talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Nabucco pipeline, a key project to bring Caspian gas to Europe, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Quoting an anonymous Warsaw government source, the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza said that the accord drafted by Poland would empower the bloc's executive European Commission to start negotiations in September.

Poland is at the helm of the 27-nation EU until the end of the year, and energy ministers from its fellow member states must still approve the plan.

The Nabucco pipeline would run from the Caspian Sea via Turkey, thereby avoiding Russia and Ukraine.

The pipeline is meant to help diversify gas sources for the European Union and reduce its dependency on energy giant Russia, as well as on Ukraine as a transit country.

Politically-charged gas transit disputes between Moscow and Kiev have hit supplies to Europe over recent years.

The initial plan was for the pipeline to begin pumping gas by 2015, but that target has since been pushed back to 2017.

The Nabucco project is in competition with the South Stream plan pushed by Russian gas powerhouse Gazprom and Italy's ENI, which also aims to pump Caspian supplies to Europe.

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