24 October 2008 Bucharest _ Romania is ready to support the construction of both the Nabucco and South Stream pipelines, the Economy and Finance Minister Varujan Vosganian says.
"Romania is ready to support any European Union-undertaken project, both Nabucco and South Stream," Vosganian told a press conference.
The statement was the first a Romanian official made showing the country's interest in the South Stream, a Russia-sponsored project which is widely seen as competition to the EU-sponsored Nabucco.
The South Stream project, led by Russian energy giant Gazprom and Italy's ENI with a cost of €10 billion, involves the construction of a gas pipeline for the delivery of natural gas from Russia to Europe.
Gazprom has already inked deals with Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Hungary for the development of the project. Slovenia and Austria might participate in the project as well.
Romanian President Traian Basescu Wednesday urged the speeding up of the construction of the Nabucco pipeline project, saying that the EU must diversify sources for energy supply in order to impede tendencies by some countries to use energy as a political instrument.
The 3,300-kilometre Nabucco pipeline, which will bring gas from Central Asia to Europe while bypassing Russia, is expected to become operational in 2013with investments estimated at €7.9 billion.
Analysts say South Stream, with an annual gas transport capacity of 30 billion cubic metres, will enhance Russia's domination over gas deliveries to Europe.