Azerbaijan, Baku /corr Trend E.Huseynov / The US-Azerbaijani Mutual Understanding Memorandum on co-operation within energy security in the Caspian region which was signed in Washington on 22 March, will strengthen rivalry amongst natural gas suppliers to Europe.
Matthew Bryza, the US Assistant-Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, said during talks with journalists in Washington that the United States is trying to strengthen rivalry to assist the European gas market not to be dysfunctional as it is at present." The US diplomat assured that alternative channels for natural gas delivery to the old Continent, the development of which is specified in the Memorandum, will not impact Gasprom's interests.
Bryza said that though the Memorandum will strengthen rivalry amongst natural gas suppliers to Europe, it will not affect the business of Russian gas giant Gasprom. "Gasprom already possesses huge shares in the market, Bryza stressed. Russia supplies 65% of gas to Turkey and covers 40% of gas imports to Europe."
The bilateral Mutual Understanding Memorandum on co-operation in the energy security in the Caspian region was signed by the US Secretary State, Condoleezza Rise, and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, at a ceremony held at the US Department of State. The document involves the expansion of oil and gas production in the country for further delivery to Europe, as well as the construction of a gas-pipeline to the West. The document reflects the aspiration of the Governments of the United States and Azerbaijan to beginning top level communication channels on energy security in the Caspian region under the joint-chairmanship of the US Secretary of State and the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.