Moscow-Baku-Tehran: gas integration supported by experts during "Evening with Vladimir Solovyov" program
In the context of desire of Moscow, Tehran and Baku to integrate transport projects, as well as desire of the latter to assume the role of transit country, through which Russian gas will be supplies to the northern regions of Iran, recent trilateral summit of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran has been viewed by expert community positively. This topic was discussed during the "Evening with Vladimir Solovyov" program.
"Meeting between presidents of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan was planned, it was prepared, we knew about it. This is a very important meeting, which creates opportunities to capitalize on projects like the Silk Road and the Eurasian Economic Community," Sergey Zheleznyak, deputy of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, said.
"The North-South transport corridor was a formal reason for meeting between three presidents. The idea of transport corridor appeared in the early 2000s, but it's implemented very slowly, because there were doubts about profitability of this project. But I think that this transport corridor - from the Persian Gulf to the Baltic Sea, Helsinki and Finland, through Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia - will be very useful. Presidents discussed acceleration of this project, since implementation is pretty slow at a number of sectors, including those that pass through Azerbaijan. This concerns us, since there are problems with port infrastructure, transshipment posts. I hope that after this meeting this process will speed up," political scientist Sergey Mikheyev said.
He recalled that presidents have already met in this format. "It is clear that they also planned to discuss political component during this meeting. Azerbaijan's position changed due to the fact that Ankara's position on a number of issues also changed. This was also caused by changes in Turkey's relations with its main partner in NATO - the US, as well as with Europe," Mikheyev noted.
"I had the opportunity to talk to president of Azerbaijan, who has no illusions about the role of the United States ... But president Aliyev took several steps so that Baku would not be put under pressure easily. He said that as soon as external financing of a number of structures was cut off, number of protesters also decreased," Vladimir Solovyov said.
Speaking about gas supplies, Mikheyev said: "Americans have been lobbing another transport gas corridor for many years - from Central Asia through the South Caspian region, through Azerbaijan via the Nabucco pipeline and a number of other pipeline projects through Turkey to Europe. This is an alternative and dangerous project for us. Americans lobbied it and even proposed to create military group in the Caspian region to protect pipeline that doesn't exist. They clearly want to increase their presence in the Caspian region. Their military presence there would mean addition pressure on Russia and Iran. But five Caspian states managed to reach a consensus that there should be no third forces in the Caspian region. I think this will unite us."