The upcoming visit of the American president's national security adviser John Bolton to the South Caucasus and in particular to Azerbaijan confirms the interest of the American side in this strategically important region, Andrei Shenin, Professor of the Department of Regional Studies at the Gumilyov Eurasian National University, told Trend Oct. 13.
Bolton will embark on visit to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia on October 20.
Shenin noted that Bolton is a fairly well-known person in the post-Soviet area, and he is usually referred to the neoconservatives who gained fame during the administration of George W. Bush.
“We can assume with high probability that the main items on the agenda will be Afghanistan and energy issues that are crucial for the US in the region. Concerning Afghanistan, Bolton will reinforce agreements on transportation of cargo through ports of the Caspian Sea; as for the energy issues, the talks will possibly be dedicated to the business projects which are already being implemented, as well as the solution of the current problems."
"As for Azerbaijan, at the moment the United States regards this country as an important strategic partner in the region. The large assistance for the American troops in Afghanistan will be delivered through Azerbaijan. At the same time, one should also not forget about the main pipelines - TAP and TANAP," Shenin said.
He noted that the implementation of the large-scale Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which provides for transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, is a priority for the United States.
TAP, worth 4.5 billion euros is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, and will be connected to another gas pipeline, TANAP, at the Turkish-Greek border. It will run across the territory of Greece, Albania, along the bottom of the Adriatic Sea, and then will go to the south of Italy.
The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of doubling it.
TAP's shareholders are: BP - 20 percent, SOCAR - 20 percent, Snam - 20 percent, Fluxys - 19 percent, Enagas - 16 percent, Axpo - 5 percent.