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. Russia Pipeline No Threat To Europe Caspian Project Says Gazprom

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by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jun 29, 2007
Russia's South Stream pipeline project is not politically motivated and does not threaten Nabucco, Europe's $6-billion gas pipeline project linking the energy-rich Caspian to Europe, bypassing Russia, the Gazprom head said Friday. The Russian energy giant and the Italian gas company Eni SpA signed June 23 a memorandum to construct the South Stream gas pipeline, which will stretch for 900 kilometers (560 miles) along the seabed of the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria, reaching a maximum depth of over 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

"If the Nabucco project is economically viable, has a confirmed demand for gas and a corresponding resource base, nothing can hamper it," Alexei Miller said in an interview with the business daily Kommersant, adding that Gazprom could join the project in the future.

The Nabucco pipeline will run from Turkey through Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary to Austria, from gas fields in Iran and Azerbaijan.

Gazprom's deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said previously other countries could join the project, adding that the possible participation of a Bulgarian company was desirable, but that the form and extent of the involvement remained a subject for discussion.

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the recent Balkan energy summit in Zagreb that Bulgaria "is ready to join the South Stream project."

Medvedev said that third parties would be able to participate in the construction of land-based stretches of the pipeline, while Gazprom and Eni would exclusively share equal stakes in the pipeline's underwater section.

The Nabucco consortium is owned by Austria's OMV, Hungary's MOL, Turkey's Botas, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, and Romania's Transgaz. Construction of the 3,300-kilometer pipeline could begin as early as 2008, with operation starting in 2012. The pipeline's transit capacity will be 25.5 billion cubic meters per year.

Source: RIA Novosti

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EU To Relaunch Ties With Africa Amid Rising Chinese Influence
Brussels (AFP) Jun 29, 2007
The European Union aims to set up a strategic partnership with Africa to meet the continent's most important needs and match growing Chinese influence there, officials said Thursday. "We are looking for new, high-level relations. We want it to be a strategic partnership," Portugal's State Secretary for European Affairs, Manuel Lobo Antunes, told reporters.

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