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Azerbaijan supporting trans-Caspian gas pipeline

Wednesday, April 4
Azeri Minister of Energy Natik Aliev stated recently that his country supports a trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, which would make Azerbaijan into both a supplier and transit country.

An initial project remains in the planning state, with no clear implementation strategy and no financial backers. The government of Turkmenistan, where the pipeline would originate, is currently negotiating with the EU.

A trans-Caspian pipeline would be laid on the bed of the Sea, running from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, and further west via Georgia and Turkey to European countries. Ukraine has also expressed interest in the project.

The Russian government appears to be threatened by such a project, as the pipeline would bypass Russia on its way to Europe, depriving that country of its monopoly on gas. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recommended that the Caspian nations make their decision "independently" without influence from outside states, like the EU.