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USA Will Not Allow Russia to Intervene in the Implementation of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline

Friday 16 November 2012, by Nazar TAMASHEVSKA

(APA, News.az) – “Washington will not allow Moscow to intervene in the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline”, said US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Lynne Tracy at the 17th Turkmenistan Oil & Gas Conference.

Lynne Tracy added that the US fully supports the construction of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP): “In case Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan give consent, no country can forbid construction of the pipeline under the Caspian Sea.”

EU Special Representative for Central Asia Mrs Patricia Flor said that the European Union is ready to purchase Turkmen gas over next 30 years.

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Konstantin Simonov
Director General of the National Energy Security Fund (Russia).

In an interview to Newz.az, Konstantin Simonov, Director General of the National Energy Security Fund (Russia) declared:

In fact, the problem of alternative suppliers is that the EU, obsessed with the idea of diversification, takes any other gas, except that of Russia, with great pleasure. Another thing is that this gas is not in volumes needed by Europe. Therefore, building the Nord Stream, Russia offers the EU, “Guys, we have invested together with your companies, built the pipeline and we are ready to increase gas supplies to European markets.”

Nevertheless, one should bear in mind that the Nord Stream will partly function as a replacement for Ukrainian route for the time being. That is, we should not think that this is an additional volume of gas which will come into the European market. This is part of the gas which will be pumped from the Ukrainian direction.

This raises a question about the South Stream in this regard. Let me explain why. We have built the Nord Stream. This is a message to Ukraine to finally agree on the fate of the gas transportation system. Ukraine does not want to negotiate. So, Ukraine’s reluctance to solve the problem prompts Russia to be active in the south of Europe, too. Despite intensive talks about competition, there is no real competition at all.

And what competition can be here? In the south there is a proposal only from Azerbaijan. But there are already a number of requests for Azerbaijani gas. Will it create competition? No, it will not. It is planned to export 6 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and 10 bln m³ to Europe. This volume is not enough to create competition. There is no any other gas yet.

So, the competition in the south is still of political nature. It is unclear yet with whom Russia will compete in the gas market.

About the active lobbying of EU for the construction of a gas pipeline in the Caspian seabed despite objections from Russia and Iran, he said:

In fact, the situation is very simple. Russia’s viewpoint is based on international law. It is known that there were only two countries in the Caspian Sea at the time – the Soviet Union and Iran. They signed all the agreements over the reservoir. It is known that these agreements have identified the 10-mile zone within which the coastal states are engaged with production in the Caspian Sea.

These documents clearly state that all the issues associated with such complex infrastructure projects should be resolved through consent of only these two littoral states.

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