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Amb. Elin Suleymanov (F04) Discusses New Pipeline’s Impact on Russia-Azerbaijan Relations

Azerbaijan Ambassador Suleymanov Discusses Final Pipeline Route Connecting Caspian to Europe

What impact will construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, have on political relations between Russia and Azerbaijan? During today's OnPoint, Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan's ambassador to the United States, discusses the pipeline's impact on competition in the natural gas sector and the region's economy.

Monica Trauzzi: Hello, and welcome to OnPoint. I'm Monica Trauzzi. Joining me today is His Excellency Elin Suleymanov, ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States. Mr. Ambassador, thank you for joining me.

Elin Suleymanov: Thank you.

Monica Trauzzi: Mr. Ambassador, Azerbaijan is making energy news with the announcement of a final pipeline route to transport natural gas to Europe. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline has been selected as the final project. Why as the South European route chosen, and what's your view of the final choice?

Elin Suleymanov: Thank you very much for [the] invitation, Ms. Trauzzi. In fact, this is indeed very good news. I think what we finally have is a decision how to extend the southern gas corridor, which is a priority project for the European Union and for Europe as a whole. The decision to go with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline came as, I think, as no surprise, because apparently, according to the Shah Deniz Consortium, it makes great economic sense, and this is a project which will bring finally Azerbaijani gas from the Shah Deniz Field to European consumers, and specifically to E.U., to Greece and Italy. Now that decision by itself does not mean that other countries along the route will be devoid of Azerbaijani gas. So even now, we are talking about interconnectors, possibly in the future to Bulgaria, possibly to Romania and other nations, which will accommodate greater amounts and volumes of Azerbaijani gas coming in. In general, what we have, though, is truly a major contribution from Caspian region to energy security of Europe. It's a long-awaited decision.

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