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26 Apr, 2010 08:13

Austria joins South Stream

Austria has signed an agreement to join the South Stream natural gas pipeline project during a visit from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Vienna.

Putin said, after talks with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, that Austria’s supplies “will be increased to two billion cubic meters.”

Chancellor Faymann said there was no conflict of interest between the South Stream and Nabucco projects and said that his country would be looking for opportunities to diversify their gas supply.

"We don't know if we receive gas by Nabucco," said Faymann.

Putin also confirmed that Russia is not opposed to other projects

"We are not against other project although, of course, they compete," he said, and added "If there are opportunities to implement the project, we don't object. But it is impossible to build a pipe without a contract because none does so."

The head of the National Energy Security Fund, Konstantin Simonov, says that Nabuco will have a hard time becoming a competitor to South Stream.

“The first problem is resources base, because now Nabucco find only 14 possible billion cubic meters per year and the idea was to build a pipeline, the capacity of which must be approximately 33 billion cubic meters so without Iran without Turkmenistan, it’s impossible to find an investor for this project. And the second problem will be turkey, because if the pipeline is on the land, it is much easier to black mail the consumer, so that is why Turkey will be the next Ukraine.”