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Baku-Ankara gas price deal

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 28
President of Azeri state oil company Rovnag Abdullayev has stated that negotiations between Turkey and Azerbaijan over the price of Azeri natural gas are almost finalised. Both sides have been anticipating the results of these negotiations as many political and economic developments depend on them.

The negotiations concern the price of the gas consumed by Turkey or transported via Turkey and the volume of gas transported there. The countries were ready to make a final decision some time before but what would happen on the date of 24 April was crucial for both sides as this is the anniversary of the humanitarian catastrophe at the beginning of 20th century when the Armenian population suffered a great deal. Baku was concerned that Ankara would retreat under Western pressure and open borders with Armenia, thus scuppering the deal.

If everything goes smoothly the new agreement will be signed either in May, when the Turkish President visits Azerbaijan, or June when his counterpart visits Turkey.

It is significant that on April 22 Armenia froze the ratification of the Turkish-Armenian protocols, in protest that Turkey is demanding that the Karabakh conflict be settled before the border is opened and diplomatic relations restored.