Azerbaijan ready to provide gas to Trans-Balkan Pipeline, but it requires transit agreement with Turkey - Aliyev
BAKU. Nov 28 (Interfax) - Azerbaijan is ready to provide gas to the Trans-Baikal Pipeline, but a transit agreement with Turkey needs to be signed to that end, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev said on Saturday.
"Today, there is an opportunity, without losing time, to engage the Trans-Balkan pipeline, especially after interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria was inaugurated last month [on October 1]. We are ready. The capacity of that pipeline is three billion cubic meters. So, we are ready to supply necessary volumes maybe within one month. But for that we need a transit arrangement with Turkey," Aliyev said at the international conference headlined Along the Middle Corridor: Geopolitics, Security and Economy.
Negotiations with Turkey are continuing, he said. "They are taking more time than we anticipated, but hopefully we will come to that agreement, because if we do not reach it for some reason, then all our plans to supply additional amounts of gas to Turkey and Europe will be under threat," Aliyev said.
The transit agreement with Turkey needs to be signed in light of plans to increase gas supplies to Europe, he said. "We see the need to increase the capacity of the TAP pipeline from ten billion to 20 billion cubic meters today already, as well as expand the TANAP pipeline from 16 billion to 32 billion cubic meters, because the TANAP capacity is almost fully engaged. Of course, all that will need additional investments. And for that, of course, we will need to have transit arrangements with our Turkish colleagues. It will be impossible to meet the growing demands of European and Turkish consumers without them," the Azerbaijani president said.
The Trans-Balkan Pipeline is the main gas pipeline passing through the territory of Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey.