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The EU's preferred gas pipeline project, Nabucco, gives Turkey a foot in both energy camps

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The EU's preferred gas pipeline project, Nabucco, gives Turkey a foot in both energy camps

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Costing around 8-billion euros to build, it will have half the capacity of Russia’s South Stream pipeline.

But crucially for a Europe that wants to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, Nabucco’s gas will flow from central Asia and the Middle East. Andrey Kortunov from the New Eurasia Foundation said: “Turkey is trying to take a balanced position, doesn’t want to become a hostage to Russia, therefore the Turks are supporting the Nabucco project. On the other hand, the Turkish government realises that Russia is a major strategic partner for Turkey, and therefore Turkey should support initiatives specifically in the energy field that comes from Moscow. Therefore, I think, you know, this agreement will be yet another manifestation of this balanced approach that Turkey is trying to pursue.” Turkey’s agreement on the Nabucco project has given it an extra hand-hold in its attempts to join the EU. The South Stream deal with Russia shows it’s also keen to be a key strategic player at the crossroads of energy supply.