Russia's state-run natural gas company, Gazprom, says it has begun talks on purchasing gas from Azerbaijan.
Chief Executive Alexei Miller signed a memorandum of understanding in
Moscow Friday with the president of the Azeri State Oil Company, Rovnag
Abdullayev, to begin talks on importing gas from 2010.
would flow to Russia via a 200-kilometer pipeline running along the
Caspian coast from Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, to the Russian town of
The move could have negative implications for the
EU-backed Nabucco pipeline project, designed to bring Caspian Sea gas
to Europe while bypassing Russia.
Last week, the European Union
pledged more than $265 million for the project as part of a larger
energy plan but it lacks both viable sources of gas and agreement
between consortium members.