Baku opens ministerial meeting under AGRI project (UPDATED)(PHOTO)
Editor's note: Ministers' statements added in the article
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 13 / Trend E.Ismayilov /
Baku opened a ministerial meeting today under the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI) project, which seeks to provide liquefied gas to Europe.
Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, Georgian Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri and Romanian Economy Minister Ion Ariton are taking part in the event.
Ariton stressed that the project will diversify EU energy supplies and ensure Europe's energy security.
The parties have presented their proposals for the project's development and have regularly held deliberations in the course of several months, Aliyev said. The talks will result in the signing of a declaration. The project envisages establishing a tripartite joint venture, which will be directly involved in the project and in searching for investments.
Meanwhile, Khetaguri said the project consists of two stages - establishing a feasibility study and financing. During the meeting, the sides expressed hope that the EU will finance the project.
The presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania are expected to meet in Baku tomorrow to sign the so-called "Baku Declaration" on the AGRI project.
Ariton said the signing of the declaration is a "historic event."
A memorandum of understanding on the AGRI project was signed in Bucharest on April 13.
Georgia, Azerbaijan and Romania also signed an agreement on the establishment of a joint venture in the project to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe on May 12.
The project to supply Azerbaijani liquefied natural gas to Romania envisages the construction of two terminals for liquefied natural gas - one in Georgia and the other in Romania. According to preliminary data, the project will cost 4.6 billion euro.
The project envisages transporting Azerbaijani gas via pipelines to the Black Sea coast of Georgia, where the gas will be liquefied at a special terminal. The gas will then be delivered to a terminal at the Romanian port of Constanta via tankers.
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