Bulgaria with High Hopes for 2nd Black Sea Energy ForumEnergy | September 29, 2010, Wednesday // 18:46| views
The second edition of the "Black Sea Energy and Economy Forum" has started in Istanbul with Bulgarian Economy Minister Traicho Traikov among the participants.
The Black Sea forum is an initiative to bring together business leaders and policy-makers to discuss strategies regarding Eurasia, Black Sea, the Caspian and Central Asia.
Traikov is meeting Wednesday with Turkey's Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz, to discuss the future 76-km reversible gas transit pipeline connection between the two countries.
The pipe is supposed to be built in accordance of the requirements of the future EU-sponsored pipeline Nabucco, and even to become the first operational section of Nabucco, in the words of Traikov himself.
The construction of the Bulgaria-Turkey pipeline in question will finally allow Bulgaria to import natural gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East; at present, all of its gas imports come from Russia. It is to be funded with EU money.
The Black Sea Energy and Economy Forum was opened by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; it is organized by the US Atlantic Council. The Council head Ross Wilson has indicated that Macedonia and Serbia might also be connected with Nabucco in the future.
The key decisions of the forum are expected to be connected with the mechanism for activating the export of gas from Azerbaijan's field Shah Deniz 2, which is supposed to fuel Nabucco after 2016.
Even though Iraq and Afghanistan do not technically belong to the Black Sea Region, they are represented at the Istanbul forum, unlike Iran.
Similarly, Russia is represented in a somewhat low-profile fashion, only with executives of a couple of energy companies, and without any government officials; the Russian-sponsored pipeline South Stream has not been included at all in the forum's agenda.
US Special Ambassador for Eurasian Energy Affairs Richard Morningstar arrived for the Black Sea energy forum from Washington, DC, as did one of the emblematic makers of US foreign policy Zbigniew Brzezinski.
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