Baku, Azerbaijan, May 3
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The issue of transit of Caspian hydrocarbons through Ukraine to Europe may become topical again, stated Secretary General of the Organization for democracy and economic development GUAM Altay Efendiyev in his interview published on the glavcom.ua website.
The Secretary General of the Organization noted that when GUAM was established in 1997, the issue of transit of Caspian oil was not a priority.
"The main attention was focused on countering the challenges associated with the spread of drugs, illegal arms trafficking and human trafficking. The US actively supported our countries in this matter, helped to strengthen the borders, and institutionalized law enforcement, border and customs authorities," Efendiyev said.
General Secretary of GUAM noted that the energy component arose a little later, following the implementation of projects for the development of deposits in the Caspian Sea.
"Then there were several alternative projects for the transportation of hydrocarbons to Europe through Ukraine. However, in view of the fact that the volume of oil and natural gas supplies, mainly from Azerbaijan, has already been tied to the new regional pipeline infrastructure - "Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan" (oil) and "Baku–Tbilisi–Erzurum" (gas), and new sources of raw materials have not appeared, the promotion of such initiatives has stopped," Efendiyev said.
The Secretary General of GUAM noted that today the situation has changed somewhat, oil supplies from Kazakhstan are increasing through the existing infrastructure in the region, the issue of Turkmenistan's connection to the pipeline system of Azerbaijan and Georgia for natural gas supplies to European countries is being considered.
"I believe that the issue of transit of Caspian hydrocarbons through Ukraine to Europe can become topical," Efendiev said.
The GUAM format was created by the post-Soviet countries in 1997 during the summit of the heads of states of the European Union in Strasbourg. Uzbekistan joined this format in 1999, but left it four years later. In 2006, at the first summit of this format in Kiev, it was decided to declare GUAM an international organization with a new name - the Organization for democracy and economic development - GUAM.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn