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Moscow regrets EU decision on trans-Caspian gas pipeline

(Xinhua)

10:08, September 14, 2011

MOSCOW, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Tuesday regretted a decision of the European Union (EU) on the construction of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline, warning the deal would complicate the regional situation.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry regrets this decision. To all appearances, it was taken ignoring the current international, legal and geopolitical situation in the Caspian basin," the ministry said in a statement.

It added that the construction of the pipeline through a tectonically fragile territory could affect all the littoral states.

"As we know, this is a first experience for the European Union too, and we are surprised that it is in the Caspian Sea, which does not border any of the European Union's states, where it (the pipeline) is supposed to be constructed," the ministry said.

The European Commission announced Monday that the EU would start talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the construction of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline.

The EU has been looking to diversify its gas supply to avoid a repeat of what happened in the winter of 2009 when Russia cut off gas supply to EU countries through Ukraine.

The trans-Caspian gas pipeline would connect Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and bring gas from Central Asia to the EU.

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