Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 29
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Amid stagnation of the economies of the major global players such as Russia or China, the diversification of the economic partners becomes acute for their neighbors.
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are well aware about this, as has proven another meeting of foreign ministers of the three countries, namely, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan on August 28.
Just as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan wants to supply its gas to Europe. This will allow the country to diversify its gas supplies and reduce its dependence on Russia and China. Russia has already reduced gas supplies from Turkmenistan. According to the experts, Turkmenistan may receive some $400 million less this year. Therefore, it is important for Ashgabat to find new routes for its gas supply. One of them is the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, which will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline will allow the country to freely transport its gas via Azerbaijan and Turkey to Europe.
Turkmenistan is not the only country interested in gas supplies to Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor. Thus, Iran expressed its willingness to cooperate with Azerbaijan in this regard.
The Southern Gas Corridor is a project that will enable Europe to diversify its sources of hydrocarbon supply and boost energy security and Azerbaijan - to get a new market in the face of Europe.
In general, Azerbaijan has recently been transforming into a key player, without which no major regional project is possible. For example, the Trans-Caspian international transport route, which runs through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and further to Europe. The route makes it possible to reduce the delivery time of goods from 40 days to 6-7 days. The route will bring the participating countries about $1 billion in the first years of operation.
However, the route does not affect Turkmenistan. However, at present, creation of another Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transport corridor is being considered. This project will also open an access to major international markets for countries, which don't have direct access to sea.
Although transport and energy are likely to remain the main areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan in the near future, at the same time, the sides are ready to develop cooperation in the spheres of tourism, health, agriculture, technology, industry, ICT, petrochemical, food industry, transport infrastructure, agricultural research, etc.