On Feb. 23, Baku hosted the third ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) Advisory Council.
Not only countries directly related to the project, but also those that will potentially be able to take advantage of all its benefits, participated in the meeting. It was also attended by representatives of several financial institutions and companies.
The main outcome of the meeting was that all the participants unanimously acknowledged the fact that the project is proceeding extremely well.
This is probably quite natural because the Southern Gas Corridor project, initiated and being led by Azerbaijan, will provide a number of European countries with energy security.
The idea of creating the Southern Gas Corridor, proposed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, was supported by the EU at the highest level as the energy security issue in terms of the absolute dependence of the vast majority of European countries on Russian gas turned out to be an obsession for Brussels.
The diversification of routes, in particular, sources of supply, was the main way to implement this idea and it is noteworthy that Azerbaijan proposed EU a solution to this problem.
The European countries’ interest in the project is also important.
More countries were invited for the recent ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) Advisory Council than for the previous one and all agreed to participate.
The Southern Gas Corridor is a very large project. The project’s cost reaches $40 billion, it has a complex technical plan, it unites several other projects, including the development of a giant gas field and passes through several countries. Under current economic and political conditions, the project’s implementation requires coordinated actions and efforts of each country.
The results are also visible already. The work on all components of the project continues without apparent delays (some issues remain unsolved in Italy and the Italian Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda has promised to solve them), and following the meeting it was once again stated that the first gas from the Shah Deniz -2 will be delivered to Turkey in 2018 and to Europe – in 2020.
The Baku-initiated project has united the entire region of Southern Europe and the Balkans, and this became another major achievement of Azerbaijan.
Thanks to Baku, the countries of Southern Europe and the Balkans work and cooperate with each other despite specific historical background of their relations.
A kind of unique format of international collaboration has formed within the joint work on the project, and this format can serve as an example for other countries planning to carry out joint projects.
It is worth adding that the successful implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project is surely the most important factor of future relations between Azerbaijan and Europe, and these relations will be based on complete mutual trust, common interests and friendship.