Nabucco Not to Pass through Armenia, Says Azeri Official

BAKU (APA)–The Nabucco pipeline, transferring natural gas from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to Europe, will not pass through Armenia, the Azerbaijani Press Agency quoted an official as saying.

The route of the planned pipeline has already been determined, the head of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev’s Public Policy Department, Ali Hasanov, said.

"The Azerbaijani government has not received any proposal on changing the Nabucco gas pipeline project”, he said, referring to the reports, which claimed the Nabucco pipeline would pass within Armenia’s borders.

The The 3,300-kilometer pipeline is due to transfer 30 billion cubic meters of Caspian or Middle Eastern gas annually from Turkey to an Austrian gas hub via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2009, with the completion date set for 2013. The shareholders in Nabucco include OMV of Austria, MOL of Hungary, Transgaz of Romania, Bulgargaz of Bulgaria, BOTAS of Turkey and RWE of Germany. The project is backed by the EU and the United States.

“Azerbaijan has stated on a many occasions that it would not cooperate with Armenia before the returning of territories occupied by Armenia, the restoration of Azerbaijan’s sovereign rights over these territories and the establishment of peace in the South Caucasus," Hasanov said.

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