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    Nabucco pipeline deal set to be signed by mid-July in Turkey: officials

    Hurriyet Daily News with wires
    03.07.2009 - 15:18 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - A key intergovernmental agreement on the EU-backed Nabucco gas pipeline will be signed on July 13 in Turkey, officials said Friday. (UPDATED)

    "The intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco pipeline project will be signed in Turkey on July 13," Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov was quoted by his spokesman Alexander Todorov as saying in the eastern city of Varna, AFP reported.


    The 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline will carry gas from the Caspian Sea to Austria via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, while bypassing Russia, in a bid to reduce Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow.


    The state-run Anatolian Agency also quoted a spokesperson for the European Commission, or EC, as saying Turkey had extended an invitation to attend the signature ceremony of the Nabucco intergovernmental agreement in the capital Ankara on July 13.


    The commission spokesman declined to provide details about the agreement, saying only that they would be made public once the agreement between the EU nations involved and Turkey is signed.


    The commission, the EU’s executive arm, is not a signatory to the agreement, but once legal details are ironed out it might sign up as an observer, the spokesman explained.


    The reports came after Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters in Ankara following a recent trip to Russia that the country was technically close to completing negotiations in the Nabucco project.


    The gas pipeline project is in direct competition with Russia’s rival South Stream project, developed by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and Italy’s Eni, and which will channel Russian gas through Bulgaria to Western Europe under the Black Sea.


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