Putin made his comment in Vienna, shortly before Austrian Economics MinisterReinhold Mitterlehner signed on to Russia’s rival South Stream project. Austria is also part of the Nabucco consortium, dpa reported.
Nabucco is to supply Central Asian gas to Europe, while South Stream is to send Russian gas from the the Black Sea to south-eastern and Central Europe.
“We don’t see a conflict of interest,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said about his country’s double strategy.
His Russian counterpart said he did not understand why countries want to become independent from Russian gas, as Russia is able to satisfy the needs of its customers for years.
Taking a jab at Nabucco, Putin said: “It is useless and dangerous to build a pipeline without having supply contracts.”
The six countries involved have yet to conclude such agreements with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan or Iraq.
The Nabucco consortium also includes energy companies in Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
South Stream is a joint project between Russian gas giant Gazprom and Italian energy group ENI.