To follow up on Judah’s post on Nabucco, the recent (rather amusing) comments of the Russian ambassador on the Nabucco project show that Russia is also trying to use the Iran threat to undermine U.S. and EU support for the project. Thanks to John Rosenthal for sending along this story from the EU Observer:
“I know few things about political geography. The only way to fill the Nabucco pipeline is to rely on Iranian gas,” Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told journalists earlier this week (15 April).
He added: “But then, it’s up to the West, I would not tell the EU, to make up its mind how to deal with Iran. Either bomb Iran or buy its gas.”
Mr Chizhov’s blunt comments came only hours after Turkmenistan had agreed to supply 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas to the EU each year – something that should cut the energy-hungry bloc’s dependence on gas from Russia.
“There have been some euphoric comments about Turkmenistan,” the ambassador said, stressing that the volume agreed by the two sides is “not enough”. In addition, he questioned the ability of Azerbaijan, another potential source, to fulfil the union’s sharply rising energy demand.
The European Commission considers Nabucco to be “essential” to the EU as it is designed to bring gas from non-traditional suppliers via a new transport route.