Latest Developments in Georgia not to Impede Plans of Construction of Nabucco Gas Pipeline: Ambassador
Kazakhstan, Astana, 10 September/ Trend , corr E. Khankishiyeva/ Interview of Latif Qandilov, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan with Trend .
Question: What impact did the latest developments in Georgia have on the energy market of Kazakhstan?
Answer: Kazakhstan did not lose anything from the suspension of oil transportation as a result of Georgian-Ossetian conflict, on the contrary, recent developments stabilized situation in domestic market. After recent developments in Georgia, Kazakhstan directed its oil and oil products to its domestic market for security reasons. The second reason for this was the time for harvest of grain all over Kazakhstan. At that time agriculture needed complete harvest of grain and the oil that was to be sent to Batumi was consumed in the domestic market.
The prices of oil products in Kazakhstan are regulated by the market, hence different oil and oil product prices different in provinces of the country. In August, the high point in the grain harvest in Kazakhstan caused price rise in oil products by every day. Supply of Kazakh oil to domestic market relaxed domestic tension and stabilized situation of prices of oil products.
Soon Kazakhstan will resume supply of oil and oil products to Georgia ( Batumi) and Romania.
Question: Will the developments in Georgia affect plans on construction of gas pipeline in Nabucco?
Answer: The developments in Georgia will not hinder plans on the construction of Nabucco gas pipeline at all. On the contrary, importance of direction of trans European gas pipeline network to south will grow under conditions of globalization. Construction of Nabucco gas pipeline is a matter of time, but not that of competition on the choice of routes of gas transport to Europe. The shortest way possible from Central Asia to Europe lies through Azerbaijan. It is certain that Azerbaijan and other countries involved in Nabucco project are able to provide security of this pipeline. On the other hand, presence of well-known companies in the region such as BP, Chevron and Agip will contribute to the solution of current disputable situations.
Question: Is Kazakhstan expected to invest in economy, especially, energy sector of Azerbaijan?
Answer: Azerbaijan is always open for investments from fraternal Kazakhstan. There are a lot of spheres to invest in. The construction of joint grain terminal in the city of Baku through the Azerbaijani and Kazakh investments is a striking example to it. At present, Azerbaijan invests in the economy of other countries. Domestic investments surpass foreign investments. There were times when Azerbaijan outperformed all countries, even east European countries in attracting investments. Today Azerbaijan is an investor himself and consolidates its positions all world investment market.
Question: What steps did Kazakhstan take to prevent inflation that swept world economy?
Answer: There is imported inflation both in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan since Kazakhstan imports majority of goods from Europe. However, rise in the prices was under control. The government slowed down inflation by efficient measures. So, timely stabilization funds were set up in 14 provinces of the country where foodstuffs were laid in a stock. Ban on export of grain-crops led to the drop in inflation in Kazakhstan as well.
Question: What notable events took place in Azerbaijani-Kazakh cooperation since the beginning of 2008?
Answer: The key event in the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan was the visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Kazakhstan to take part in the ceremonial events on occasion of 10th anniversary of Astana. The second important event is the fifth meeting of Azerbaijani-Kazakh inter-governmental commission held in April. Holding fifth meeting of inter-governmental commission is an indicator of successful work of the Azerbaijani embassy in Kazakhstan. So, from 1992 to 2004 only one meeting of inter-governmental commission was held while it reached five from 2005. The third big event in the Azerbaijan-Kazakh events was the visit by Kasim Jomart Tokayev, chairman of Senate of parliament to Baku on the occasion of 90th anniversary of the Azerbaijani parliament. Finally, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is expected to visit Azerbaijan this year.
Question: Why is it important to open Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Aktau?
Answer: The need to open Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Aktau emerged for several reasons. Alongside such factors as vast territory and settlement of Azerbaijanis in different parts of Kazakhstan, opening of Consulate General is important to solve economic and ecological problems of Caspian and shipping-related issues soon.
The economic benefit from this step will be more. The turnover of goods between the two countries may be increased. So, lands in the western part of Kazakhstan are not fit for cultivation which can speed up export of agricultural products, especially that of fruit and vegetable. In their turn, western provinces of Kazakhstan (Atirau, Mangistau, Uralsk) are rich in minerals and Azerbaijan can take advantage of it.
There is developed sea and railway transport system which transports Kazakh oil and oil products. Aktau is considered oil capital of Kazakhstan. There are prospects of cooperation in the sphere of stabile supply of oil sector of Aktau with facilities from Azerbaijan and sending Azerbaijani oil specialist to this city.
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