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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hungary Urges Faster Work on Nabucco

BUDAPEST -- Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany on Friday called for faster work on the planned Nabucco pipeline, which would carry natural gas from Central Asia to Europe and help cut dependence on Russian fuel.

"The most important thing about Nabucco is that it helps reach new sources of gas and through a new route," Gyurcsany said at an energy conference. "The task of this conference is to speed up the process, to give more momentum to quicken the financial issues."

Hungary imports 80 percent of its gas from Russia, making it the biggest customer of Gazprom in Central and Eastern Europe, according to Gazprom data. President Vladimir Putin and Gyurcsany agreed in February 2006 to make Hungary a hub for sending Russian gas to Western Europe.

Hungary drew criticism from the European Union for supporting a rival pipeline backed by Gazprom and now wants to demonstrate its commitment to Nabucco, which is preferred by the EU.

Nabucco is backed by a group of companies including Austria's OMV, Hungary's Mol, Turkey's Botas, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz and Romania's Transgas. The group will pick between Gaz de France and Germany's RWE as a sixth partner.