In a common declaration, leaders from 28 European, Caspian and Central Asian countries called for the "rapid development of international gas infrastructure, pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals and strategic storages to guarantee diversification of gas supplies to Europe in a sustainable and viable way."
The leaders failed however to iron out difficulties over the supply of two major new pipeline projects Ğ the EU's Nabucco and the Russia-backed South Stream. The summit followed a Russia-Ukraine price row in January that cut off gas supplies across Europe. Noting that Europe's demand for imported natural gas would increase over the next 20 years, the summit steered away from specifically endorsing the two projects already under way. But the rival EU-backed Nabucco and Moscow-backed South Stream pipelines nevertheless took center stage in all discussions at the summit.
Two major gas pipeline projects, the EU's Nabucco and Russia-backed South Stream, aim to meet Europe's soaring gas needs as it seeks new supply routes. The two projects will supply European consumers with natural gas from producers in Russia, the Caspian region, Central Asia and the Middle East, via a new so-called "southern corridor" through Turkey and under the Black Sea.
The six Nabucco countries Ğ Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Germany Ğ are expected to sign an intergovernmental agreement on the project by June, officials said at the summit.