Azerbaijan, Turkey at Odds over Nabucco

July 21, 2011
Azerbaijan has questioned Turkey’s attitude to the Nabucco pipeline project after Baku failed to receive a copy of the signed contract from Ankara, according to a top official from the Caspian nation.

“Unfortunately nobody sent us the copy of this Project Support Agreement,” Elshad Nasirov, the vice president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, or SOCAR, told the Hürriyet Daily News during a recent interview. “And we will not ask for it, because this will violate the principle of equal treatment for … three projects – Nabucco, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline [TAP] and the Interconnection Turkey-Greece-Italy [ITGI].”

Azerbaijan was the only project partner absent when the legal framework for the Nabucco Pipeline was reportedly signed and finalized on June 8 for the project support agreements, or PSAs, between Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH and the responsible ministries of the five transit countries, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey.

The signature ceremony was organized just before Turkey’s June 12 general elections in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, where Turkish energy minister was running for a seat in Parliament.

The agreements were described by the Nabucco consortium as the affirmation of an advantageous regulatory transit regime under European and Turkish laws, protection against any discriminatory changes in said laws and support for legislative and administrative actions for the implementation of the project.

Nasirov also said an obligatory bilateral transit agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey to make the project a reality had not been signed yet either.

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