EU must carefully evaluate risk factors for Azerbaijan in Southern Gas Corridor project

Photo: EU must carefully evaluate risk factors for Azerbaijan in Southern Gas Corridor project / Azerbaijan

Harvard Kennedy School's "Security in the Black Sea Region: Shared Challenges, Sustainable Future" training program has been started in Bucharest on 2 June. The program takes on the legacy of its predecessor, the Harvard Black Sea Security Program, which was initiated 15 years ago. The goal of the program is to foster an enhanced level of understanding and expertise on the most significant security challenges to be addressed in the coming period throughout the Black Sea region. The program is carried out under patronage of the Romanian Presidential Administration. The 2014 edition is devoted to the theme: "Energy security - innovative solutions to enduring problems".

On the first day of the program the participants and lecturers were received by the President of Romania Traian Basescu. President Basescu made opening remarks and provided overview on the current security situation in the Black Sea Region. The program continued in the Parliament of Romania, where Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta, NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security challenges Sorin Ducaru, members of the European Parliament were among the speakers. Overall the 2014 edition will be attended by approximately 70 people - keynote speakers, lecturers and participants representing 16 countries, as well as high ranking officials from EU and NATO.

Azerbaijani energy and security expert Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli is invited to join the program as a lecturer. While talking on "Regional Perspective on Energy Security", B. Aslanbayli provided comparative analysis of security situation in Black Sea and South Caucasus and underlined the specific security threats.

He elaborated on potential security impact of on-going projects for energy supply to Europe. B. Aslanbayli provided detailed overview on transportation of Caspian energy resources to Europe and Southern Gas Corridor. He mentioned that Azerbaijan is a key player in implementation of Southern Gas Corridor.

"The importance of Southern Gas Corridor is not limited to transportation of 10 billion cubic meter of gas per year from Shah Deniz gas filed. Realisation of that transit infrastructure would be a key for future transportation of non-Shah Deniz volumes to Europe. Therefore, Southern Gas Corridor shall be considered as a strategic project - not only because of transportation of Azerbaijan gas reserves to Europe, but also because of making possible the further diversification of energy supply to Europe, by giving the opportunity for transportation of new volumes from new sources." - B. Aslanbayli said.

He believes that EU also should carefully evaluate risk factors and potential security threats that Azerbaijan may face upon realisation of the project. "EU, NATO and other international institutions shall not react to events post factum, but evaluate potential risks and threats in advance and mitigate them".

Harvard Kennedy School's "Security in the Black Sea Region: Shared Challenges, Sustainable Future" training program will continue till 7 June.

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