European Union member countries are scheduled to meet in Turkey next week to sign a treaty to construct a natural-gas pipeline designed to reduce the region’s dependence on Russian energy imports, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com).

The pipeline, called Nabucco, is slated to carry natural gas from the Caspian Sea region and the Middle East via Turkey to Europe beginning in 2014. The intergovernmental accord will be signed in Ankara next by representatives of all five countries the pipeline will pass through: Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. The treaty is expected to foster billions of euros in financing for the project, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Europe currently gets a quarter of its gas from Russia and has been eager to find alternatives, especially in the wake of a spat between Russia and Ukraine in January that led to a cutoff of gas deliveries.

For the full Wall Street Journal report on this story, click here.