President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the European Union for the failure of the Nabucco Project, which is a proposed natural gas pipeline from Turkey to Europe. The project was aiming to diversify the energy sources of Europe to lower dependency on Russian natural gas by reaching the Caspian Sea and the Middle East. The main suppliers were expected to be Iraq, while Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Egypt were also possible suppliers. The project, backed by the EU and the U.S., was signed in 2009; however, it has yet to be realized.
Speaking at the Atlantic Council meeting in Istanbul yesterday, Erdoğan criticized Europe, claiming that they did not back the project for six years. The lack of funds was the main reason behind the Nabucco Project's failure, according to Erdoğan. Blaming the EU, Erdoğan said it was still portrayed as Turkey's fault even though Turkey is the consumer. Moreover, without funds or supplies, Turkey cannot act alone. Erdoğan further cited the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP) as an example to illustrate his point. The TANAP is being constructed to carry Azeri natural gas to Europe via Georgia and Turkey, and the three countries are joint partners in the project. As Erdoğan claimed, TANAP's success rests on Azerbaijan's efforts since Turkey is only the transit country for the project. Preparations of the Nabucco Project actually date back to 2012, when the Austrian energy company OMV and Turkish state-owned energy company BOTAŞ, Hungarian MOL Group, Bulgarian Bulgargaz and Romanian Transgaz signed a protocol to construct the Nabucco pipeline. However, the intergovernmental agreement between Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria was signed by the five countries then prime ministers in 2009 in Ankara.