The EU has signed a major gas deal with Azerbaijan.
Hailed as a breakthrough by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, the move helps curb the bloc’s reliance on its main supplier, Russia.
Azerbaijan is committed to providing Europe with enough gas to enable the creation of a new corridor of pipelines via Turkey, the Commission announced.
The deal looks like good news for the planned Nabucco pipeline, being designed to carry 31 billion cubic metres a year of Azeri gas into Europe. Russia’s South Stream pipeline is in competition.
Rows between Moscow and Ukraine have previously disrupted deliveries of Russian gas to EU countries, hence the bloc’s eagerness to secure alternative suppliers.