Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 11
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
Holding of the first meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council in Baku has various goals that include agreement on emerging issues and Europe's political support for the project, which is aimed primarily at improving its own energy security.
But the most important distinguishing feature of this meeting is the fact that it will be held in Baku, and this choice of location highlights the fact that all the players in this project recognize the exceptional importance of Azerbaijan in the project's realization.
In principle, a different route could have been chosen to deliver the gas and other companies could have been the participants to this project. However, without the Shah Deniz field, located in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, without the political will of Baku, this project would not have been possible.
If we look at the progress of the Southern Gas Corridor throughout its history, it becomes obvious that it was namely Azerbaijan, which has carried the most weight in making the project a reality.
The South Caucasus gas pipeline, through which Azerbaijani gas is currently supplied to Georgia and Turkey, will be expanded in order to create the corridor. Azerbaijan initiated the TANAP gas pipeline project together with Turkey and received the largest share in it.
Baku and the partners also chose a pipeline that will transport gas to Europe itself. It would be impossible to implement any of these projects including Southern Gas Corridor as a whole without the desire and participation of Azerbaijan.
In addition, a meeting of the Advisory Council will allow Panagiotis Lafazanis, the Minister of Energy from SYRIZA party, which came to power in Greece two weeks ago, to ask all the questions he has from people who have been engaged in the Southern Gas Corridor project from the beginning.
One can expect political support from the EU for this project, especially, under the conditions of Russia's more active participation in the Turkish market.
Azerbaijan, the project's European partners and the EU have quite a few questions to ask Turkey, which intends to implement two projects competing with each other, while the country participates only in one of them.
In any case, the meeting in Baku will allow "comparing notes", get answers to the questions that have arisen in recent times and reaffirm Azerbaijan's exceptional role in the Southern Gas Corridor project.
Edited by CN
Seymur Aliyev is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service