Baku. Energy cooperation has become one of the main topics of the talks in Baku between the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Norway - Elmar Mammadyarov and Espen Barth Eide.
Speaking at a press conference, Mammadyarov said the year 2013 marks the decision to authorize the project "Shah-Deniz-2", in which the Norwegian company Statoil is also involved. He recalled that they have already decided to implement the project TANAP (Trans-Anatolian pipeline), which by 2018 will ensure the delivery of Azerbaijani gas to the borders of the EU. In 2013, they will have to select one of the two routes for the further flow of gas to the European markets - TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) and Nabucco West, with destinations in Italy or Austria. Noting that decisions will be made by the energy companies, Mammadyarov noted the geo- strategic importance of the projects.
On the question of a Norwegian journalist on a delay in the implementation of "Shah-Deniz-2" due to the rising costs of the project, Mammadyarov said that offshore projects are initially expensive and participants take this into account.
Mammadyarov said in the second half of the year, "decisions will be made on all these issues." Eide for his part noted the interest of Europe in Azerbaijani gas. However, he stressed that the decision on the export pipeline to Europe will be accepted by the companies on the basis of terms and conditions. According to him, Azerbaijan is considered as an important source of diversification of gas to Europe.
The talks focused on the discussion of geopolitical issues, including the situation in Iran. Eide noted with satisfaction that the geopolitical priorities of Azerbaijan coincide with the interests of Norway.