A consortium of companies building the Nabucco gas pipeline designed to pump natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe bypassing Russia has delayed its plans to include Iran in the project, the consortium said on Monday.
The consortium decided to continue the construction of two pipeline sections from Georgia and Iraq to Turkey and concurrently suspended a plan to build a pipe section from Iran, the consortium said in a statement.
Christian Dolezal, a spokesman for the consortium, said Nabucco no longer planned to construct a pipeline section from Iran as the consortium was acting in accordance with international laws and rules, adding that the consortium could not comment on its further possible actions.
According to the Dow Jones agency, the consortium's decision may be connected with UN sanctions imposed on Iran, which western nations suspect of developing nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes only.
The Nabucco project, which is designed to pump gas from the Caspian region to European countries via Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria is a key element of western strategy to cut Europe's dependence on Russia's energy supplies.
The 7.9 billion euro pipeline is expected to have an annual capacity of 31 billion cubic meters of gas, which will not exceed five percent of Europe's gas consumption in 2020.
MOSCOW, Aug 23 (RIA Novosti)