Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 8
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The European Commission remains committed to the ongoing negotiation process with both Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian pipeline project, a source with the Energy Department of the European Commission told Trend.
"In this respect, the Commission will continue its active engagement with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, both at the bilateral and also at the trilateral level so that the progress in the negotiations on the Trans-Caspian pipeline can be achieved," the source said.
The Trans-Caspian pipeline project envisages the laying of around 300 kilometers long gas pipeline under the Caspian to the shores of Azerbaijan. Further fuel can be transported to Turkey which has mutual borders with European countries.
The project is regarded as the optimal option for delivering Turkmen resources to European markets. In June 2013, a framework agreement on cooperation in deliveries of Turkmen natural gas to Turkey and further to Europe was signed between the governments of Turkmenistan and Turkey.
The negotiations between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline began in September 2011. However Russia and Iran have always spoken against the Trans-Caspian pipeline due to ecological issues during the pipeline's construction. The unresolved status of the Caspian Sea has been regarded as the main factor hindering the implementation of the project.
Recent Caspian summit held on Sept. 29 in Astrakhan, has given some prospects for the progress in negotiation over this project, and may be considered as the step forward for the Trans-Caspian pipeline project as well.
The European Commission welcomes the continuing dialogue among the Caspian littoral states," a source in the commission told Trend.
The official position of Ashgabad regarding the project is that the consent of the countries whose territories are involved into the project is enough to build a pipeline. Azerbaijan has repeatedly expressed readiness to provide its territory, transit facilities and infrastructure for realizing the project.
Edited by S.I.