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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bryza Pushes Pipeline Bypass Routes

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- The United States is helping Europe's bid to break Russian control of Caspian fuel exports, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza said Tuesday.

A new gas pipeline to Turkey is part of a cheaper, U.S.-backed "southern corridor" that would rival Gazprom's pipelines out of Central Asia, Bryza said.

"Russia's interest is to prolong a monopoly," Bryza said. "Gazprom is by law a monopoly, and the United States doesn't like energy monopolies."

The United States has revived the idea of a Trans-Caspian pipeline that would link Turkmenistan with a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.

Bryza dismissed Russian reports that such a pipeline would cost $10 billion as "utter disinformation." U.S. estimates put the cost at about $1 billion.

Bryza said it was "essentially 20 percent cheaper" to ship the gas from Azerbaijan to the proposed Nabucco pipeline than through Gazprom's Blue Stream pipeline under the Black Sea.