Statement for Media

Recently, comments began to appear in a number of international media regarding the possibility of implementing a project for the supply of Turkmen natural gas in the western direction. We are talking about the construction of a gas pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea in order to transport Turkmen "blue fuel" to European markets (the Trans-Caspian pipeline).

Such a “sudden” manifestation of interest in a large-scale project in the current conditions, in general, is understandable and explainable. But, at the same time, it requires an objective and clear factual explanation.

The idea of building a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, initiated by Turkmenistan, was initially considered by our country not only as an economically and commercially viable project, but also as an essential part of the diversification of energy flows as a key condition for global energy security and sustainability based on equal consideration of the interests and benefits of producers, consumers and transit countries. With which, by the way, all potential participants of the project agree.

A substantive discussion of this issue was initiated during the official visit of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Brussels in November 2007, his negotiations with the President of the European Commission, European Commissioners and heads of various EU structures. In November of the same year and in May 2008, official EU representatives responsible for energy cooperation visited Turkmenistan, during which fundamental agreements were reached on cooperation between Turkmenistan and the European Union in the field of energy. One of the results of the meetings was also the signing in May 2008 of the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the field of energy between Turkmenistan and the European Union. Mutual readiness to develop a mechanism to ensure the supply of Turkmen energy resources to Europe was also confirmed during the official visit of the then President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, to Turkmenistan in early 2011.

At the same time, within the framework of the UN, Turkmenistan initiated a wide interested dialogue on the problem of energy security, which resulted in the consensus adoption by the General Assembly in 2008 of the first resolution "Reliable and stable transit of energy carriers and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation". 71 states became its cosponsors. In 2013, the UN General Assembly once again unanimously adopted the Turkmen draft of a similar resolution.

Relying on such a solid international legal base, Turkmenistan has made efforts to create the necessary political, financial, organizational conditions that would make it possible to translate the idea of building a Trans-Caspian pipeline into a practical plane. To this end, tripartite partnership mechanisms were formed between Turkmenistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union, consisting of the heads of the relevant energy departments.

On the part of the EU, in turn, significant efforts were also made, in particular, in the form of the creation of the Caspian Development Corporation as an association of European energy companies, banks and other financial institutions to establish systemic cooperation on the withdrawal of Caspian energy resources in a western direction. It is natural that the European Union included the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline in the list of promising projects.

In general, cooperation on the construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline has been moving forward consistently and practically, receiving political and functional international support.

The international legal validity of the project is also beyond doubt after the adoption in 2018 by five coastal states of the fundamental document regulating the key principles of policy in the Caspian - the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.

Article 14 of that document, in particular, states:

1. The parties may lay cables and pipelines along the bottom of the Caspian Sea.

3. Determination of the route for laying underwater cables and pipelines is carried out in agreement with the Party through the bottom sector of which the underwater cable or pipeline is to be laid.

Thus, today the construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline is directly related to the delimitation of the seabed between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In addition, Turkmenistan is convinced that there are no political, economic, financial factors hindering the construction of the gas pipeline. On the contrary, the Trans-Caspian pipeline is an absolutely realistic project, justified from an economic point of view, capable of making a tangible contribution to ensuring energy security in Eurasia, providing long-term and uninterrupted access to sources of raw materials for European consumers, while observing the obvious benefits and interests of the transit side.

Based on this, Turkmenistan, being committed to the strategy of diversifying energy flows, expresses its readiness to continue cooperation with partners in the implementation of the Trans-Caspian pipeline project.

                                                                                                                      Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan