Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have refused to sign a contract to supply gas to the EU. At an energy mini- summit in Prague, leaders from Europe, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia did sign the deal. The European Union offered to provide more trade and stronger transport links to gas producers.
The multi-billion euro Nabucco project would in theory pump gas from the Caspian Sea region through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Austria. But in addition to investment problems, Nabucco has only secured a fifth of the gas it needs to be viable. The outgoing Czech Prime Minister whose country holds the rotating EU presidency till July said: “We envisage the Southern Corridor as a new road where we can see the flow of information, people and energy in both directions.” This was not enough to convince the Uzbeks, Kazaks and Turmen. The EU wants to lighten its dependence on Russian gas, but Azerbaijan can not come up with enough for Europe yet. Europe has plans to help Egypt develop its export potential, and to seek cooperation with Iraq.