Romanian politics locked in conflict at highest level
In the most recent installment of the continuing conflict between Romanian President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the President openly blamed the Prime Minister for Romania’s loss of the Nabucco West Azeri natural gas project, the local media announced, Oct. 22.
“The bilateral trips abroad […] that the Prime Minister took, it is very well that he did … the bad thing is he did it wrong,” Basescu said, according to Romania TV station Antena3. “Mr. Ponta wanted to go to Azerbaijan. The outcome was amazing. We’ve lost Nabucco.”
Romania had been in line to gain large revenues from the transit of natural gas through its territory via the Nabucco West pipeline. The initiative would have also given the country a means to become partly independent from Russian gas supplies.
The Shah Deniz Consortium (SDC), whose majority shareholders are British company BP, Norwegian Statoil and Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR, announced that the decision to export Azerbaijani natural gas via the Trans Adriatic pipeline (TAP), through Greece and Albania to Italy, is the more attractive option both economically and geopolitically.
Ponta announced that the decision had been made independently of Bucharest and that nothing that he did could have changed it. He pointed out that Romania could now concentrate on developing its own natural and shale gas resources located in the Black Sea.
Basescu’s outburst marks the latest chapter in a history of incidents and conflicts between the two politicians.
Most recently the President rejected the PM’s nomination of Ovidiu S. for new transport minister after former transport secretary Relu Fenchu was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison.
Ovidiu S. has since been indicted on corruption charges.