Azerbaijan has a very important role to play in ensuring connectivity, Luc Devigne, Deputy Managing Director at the European External Action Service (EEAS), told Trend on the sidelines of the event dedicated to the launch of new institutional set-up of Eastern Partnership initiative in Brussels, Belgium.
"Azerbaijan helps to connect Europe with Caspian Sea region, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and further China. Obviously, Azerbaijan is very important in this context. It is good that Azerbaijan develops its hub role," he said.
Moreover, Devigne touched upon Azerbaijan’s role in ensuring Europe’s energy security and emphasized the significance of the Southern Gas Corridor.
"We are very positive about this project, and we are very much supporting this project. European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic has recently attended the Southern Gas Corridor ministerial meeting. During the discussions, he reiterated that we are fully supporting this project," he said.
Devigne noted that it would be even better for Azerbaijan if it takes international standards, some European standards and joins the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"Joining the WTO will provide international regulatory framework, and companies will know what kind of minimum standards they would meet in Azerbaijan. That’s for Azerbaijani leadership to decide, but we stand ready to help Azerbaijan to join WTO, because it is good for Azerbaijan, good for WTO and good for us," he concluded.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority projects for the EU and provides for the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.
At an initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Shah Deniz Stage 2, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
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