Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan have exclusive right to lay Trans-Caspian Pipeline, EU says
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 15
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have exclusive right to lay the Trans-Caspian Pipeline, Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan told Trend.
"Regarding the question on the Status of the Caspian Sea, the EU has repeatedly expressed its support to the respective positions of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan regarding the exclusive right to lay a pipeline in the Caspian Sea between the two littoral countries in line with international agreements and conventions," the delegation said.
The delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan also said the EU's support to the project Trans-Caspian Pipeline project remains unchanged.
This position was expressed at the highest level in Azerbaijan by Vice-President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic during his visit to Baku in November.
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.
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.
Elena Kosolapova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova