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Difficulties in interpreting the gas diplomacy2009-04-28 17:35
The outcome of the energy summit in Bulgaria is interpreted by media from different viewpoints: from Nabucco's " victory" over South Stream to the USA having reconciled with the fact of necessity to run a Russian pipeline to Europe. The fact is that the partners did not sign any binding documents, and the text of the final declaration sounds deliberately neutral in respect of all the competing pipelines.
The Georgian media's reaction to the meeting in Sofia can be estimated by their instant reporting that the European Union has allocated four billion euros for the Nabucco project implementation. This was reported by the «Business Georgia» portal with reference to Jose Manuel Barroso, Head of European Commission. "Europe needs a stable gas supplier, that is why we choose the Nabucco project as one of the most preferable", - the high-ranking European official said.
The Georgian media have craftily rounded the figure of EUR 3,75 bln indicated by Barroso, which is going to be put by EU into several energy projects. The preferable one is the southern corridor including Nabucco, as the Russian edition, RBK daily, observes. Besides, the EU's promise has not even been officially documented.
According to Russian newspaper Commersant, the Gas Summit in Sofia turned out to be a great disappointment for the Russian delegation. The newspaper regards the words of Richard Morningstar, the USA President, to be said in undoubted support of Nabucco. Judging by the diplomat's words, Washington supposes that Iran might also become the resource base for the project. According to the newspaper, Abdulla Gul, the president of Turkey, spoke in favour of Nabucco as well. And Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, the leader of Turkmenia offended by Gazprom, had nothing to do but to express his wish to diversify the ways of delivering its gas to Europe. According to Commersant, Georgi Parvanov, the president of Bulgaria, turned to be opposed to South Stream as well.
EUobserver, a Belgian newspaper, has drawn an opposite conclusion on the summit outcome: the USA are going to provide less support to the European pipeline. The edition focuses on Richard Morninstar's statement that the Nabucco pipeline does not guarantee the energy security to Europe. "Gas pipelines are only part of the puzzle. Nabucco is not the Holy Grail that will solve the problem", - the newspaper is quoting Barack Obama's Representative for Energy Matters. The statement is rather precious, considering the fact that the previous USA administration expressly supported Nabucco and criticized South Stream, calling it another instrument of Moscow's control over the natural gas supplies to Europe.