A quarter of the natural gas used in the EU comes from Russia, while 75% of the Russian energy exports go to Europe. EU leaders are taking these factors into account as they try to end the Georgian conflict.
The issue was dramatically highlighted last month when
"An agreement has been reached on the start of practical work to build a new gas pipeline system on the territory of
"We see that the potential for such partnership is growing. We have a mutual interest in the realisation of this project," he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
THREAT TO EU PROJECT
The new pipeline will increase gas exports from Uzbekistan and
Gazprom said in a statement an agreement on building a new pipeline and on the price formula for Uzbek gas had been reached. It gave no further details.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov said the proposed pipeline, with a capacity of 26-30 billion cubic metres (bcm), would be built alongside the two existing Soviet-era pipelines, known as Central Asia-Centre and Central Asia-Bukhara-Ural.
A spokesman for Putin confirmed that agreement had been reached with
If built, the new pipeline could be a threat to a rival European Union project, known as the Nabucco Gas Pipeline, which plans to pump gas from Central Asia to
Nabucco, operated by a consortium led by Austrian group OMV, was proposed by the EU partly as a means to ease its reliance on Gazprom supplies.
Central Asian states are trying to delicately balance the interests of major powers -- such as
Russian-Uzbek bilateral trade totalled more than $4 billion in 2007 and firms such as LUKOIL,
Karimov said suggestions
"Some sort of talk and speculation has appeared that
"I must underline that we are intent on cooperation and prepared to provide our territory (for the pipeline)," he said.
Karimov said that if
Date created : 2008-09-02