EU to Back Croatian Gas Project on Krk

Croatian politicians have hailed an EU decision to support the construction of a liquefied natural gas, LNG, terminal on the Croatian island of Krk, which will eventually be connected with the LNG terminal on the Baltic in Poland.

The pipeline running north from the Adriatic to the Baltic Sea is designed to deliver gas for Croatia and the so-called Visegrad group of states in Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Construction of the terminal, planned for 2019, would cost about 630 million euro and have an annual regasification capacity of 4.0-6.0 billion cubic metres. The government is seeking a strategic partner or partners to finance and co-own the project.

Plans to build the pipeline have been given new impetus by the recent crisis caused by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, which has heightened Europe’s determination to wean itself off from dependence on Russian energy.

On Tuesday, EU foreign ministers discussed imposing new, tougher sanctions on Russia, in connection with the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet in eastern Ukraine, killing everyone on board. The disaster is widely blamed on pro-Moscow rebels armed by Russia.

At the meeting, Britain led calls for existing sanctions to be enlarged to include an embargo on weapons sales to Russia - which France and some other countries were expected to resist, however.

At a regional summit held in Slovenia and Croatia last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced support for the proposed gas terminal on Krk, and told Croatian President Ivo Josipovic that the European Commission would co-finance the project.

The conclusion of the meeting was that, besides the Russian-led South Stream gas pipeline running through Bulgaria...

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