Russian min says EU decision on Caspian pipe proj regrettable

MOSCOW, Sep 13 (PRIME) — Russias Foreign Ministry finds the E.U.s decision over the construction of a gas pipeline that is to stretch from Kazakhstan to Turkey through the Caspian Sea to be regrettable, the ministry said in a statement published on its official Web site Tuesday.

On Monday, the Council of the E.U. approved negotiations among the E.U., Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan over signing legally-binding documents on the construction of a gas pipeline. The pipeline is to link Kazakhstans Tengiz oil and gas field with the Turkish city of Erzurum stretching through Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. A part of the pipeline linking Turkmen city of Turkmenbashi and the Azeri capital Baku is expected to be laid on the bed of the Caspian Sea.

In turn, Russias Foreign Ministry said that the five countries of the Caspian Sea basin had agreed to decide jointly on all issues regarding their activities in the sea. The Caspian basin countries are Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan.

The ministry also said that attempts to interfere in the relationships among these five countries could heighten tensions in the Caspian area, which could have a negative impact on the ongoing negotiations on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

Meanwhile, gas pumping via a part of the pipeline stretching from Baku to Erzurum through Tbilisi has already started. In future, the throughput capacity of the entire pipeline is expected to reach up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The investments unto the project are estimated at 7.9 billion euros.


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