SOCAR: Azerbaijan is open transit country (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 14 / Trend E.Ismayilov /
President of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev has today stated that Azerbaijan is an open transit country in accordance with the European Energy Charter.
He commented on the EU's decision to grant a mandate for negotiations between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.
"The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline Project is not ours. This is a project designed by Turkmenistan and the European Union. Based on the European Energy Charter, we are an open transit country and infrastructure, which they [the EU and Turkmenistan] are going to build, is a matter for the two parties. [...] We have already stated that we are open to discuss the matter," Abdullayev said.
The European Union adopted a mandate on Monday to negotiate a legally binding treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans Caspian Pipeline System.
Discussions with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will focus on inter-alia a treaty setting out legal commitments between the EU, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, the bilateral arrangements necessary for Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to achieve the commissioning, building, and operation of the Trans-Caspian pipeline itself, and the legal framework that will apply to filling the pipeline with gas from Turkmenistan, including an appropriate recognition of commercial arrangements.
The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, with a length of 300 kilometers, will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor. Talks between Turkmenistan and the European Union and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been conducted since late 1990s.