Estonia, like rest of European Union, sees Azerbaijan as a partner with great potential: President
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 13/ Trend , S. Agayeva/ "Estonia, like the rest of the European Union, sees Azerbaijan as a partner with great potential, with whom we wish to develop and increase both economic and political ties, President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Jan. 13 in Baku.
At the meeting,
President Ilves focused on the future of relations between the European Union and
"The Caspian Sea
Region, and Azerbaijan as one of the leading countries in the area, has an
important role to play in increasing the energy security of the European Union.
During the recent gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, it again became clear
how important the diversity of energy channels is for the European Union," said
"This is why we
greatly appreciate Azerbaijan's readiness to participate in the implementation
of the South Energy Corridor projects-the Nabucco gas pipeline and the
Odessa-Brodõ-Plock oil pipeline," he said.
Nabucco project worth $12.4 billion is expected to deliver gas from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to the EU. Construction of pipeline is expected to begin in 2010. Nabucco shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE with 16.7 percent each.
About 30 percent of the project will be invested by Nabucco Gas Pipeline International on basis of its share. The remaining 70 percent will be provided by international institutions. The rest will be invested by export-credit agencies and commercial banks.
President Aliyev stressed that, in the case of the Nabucco gas pipeline, the activities and responsibilities of each of the parties must be clarified.
President Ilves encouraged Azerbaijan to make extensive use of the opportunities provided by the Eastern Partnership initiative prepared in the European Commission.
On Dec. 4, the European Commission approved Poland and Sweden's initiative on new Eastern Partnership policy which calls for enhanced cooperation with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership, which will be established as multi-national forum, will be composed of 27 EU member states including Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Talks on canceling visa regime, free trade zones and strategic agreements will be held within the organization. It will also implement projects on exchange of students, protection of environment and energy security.
"The European Union is convinced that the success of our eastern partners depends on the readiness of each country and their will to truly converge with the Community and its values," President Ilves emphasized. "This means democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, as well as increasing the pace of justice reforms and administrative capabilities."
On Jan. 12, Estonian President paid an official visit to Azerbaijan. On Jan. 13, Presidents held talks and signed declaration.
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