(ITAR-РўРђSS) The Georgian sector of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline has been commissioned. Presidents of Georgia Michail Saakashvili, of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, of Turkey Ahmet Nejdet Sezer took part in the todayвЂ™s launching ceremony in Gardabani province close to Tbilisi.
Addressing the ceremony Saakashvili noted that вЂњBTC will facilitate the development of the infrastructure of the regionвЂ™s countries, involvement of new investmentsвЂќ. The oil pipeline has an immense political significance for Georgia and the countries of the area. The BTC project is not aimed against anyone, all sides involved, either directly or indirectly will gainвЂќ, he assured.
In SezerвЂ™s view, "BTC will promote the regional stability and the economic prosperity of the South Caucasus countries, implementation of this huge project has invaluable strategic importance, as it will facilitate the strengthening of the energy security of the countries, their well-being and expanding of relations with the Western statesвЂќ.
Рђliyev, in his turn, noted that вЂњpolitical will of leaders of Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as an active role of the companies, the projectвЂ™s participants and investors enabled to implement a historical and strategic project.
Presidents of three countries opened solemnly valves at the pumping station of the BTC pipeline in Gardabani province. It has been announced at the ceremony, the oil through BTC will reach the Georgian-Turkish border by late October and supposedly, in a month, the port of Ceyhan. The commissioning ceremony of the BTC Turkish section will be held there. The first tanker with oil will depart Ceyhan at the year-end. The BTC pipeline of 1768 km length is designed for pumping of 50 million tons of oil a year.