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Georgian President: TANAP a good example of regional cooperation

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 19
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has concluded his visit to Turkey, where he was invited by his Turkish counterpart to participate in the ground-breaking ceremony of the TANAP gas-pipeline project.

The Georgian president delivered a speech at the event.

“Through the project, Europe will be provided Caspian gas via Georgia and Turkey. Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan are a good example of fruitful regional cooperation,” Margvelashvili said.

“TANAP will guarantee more safety, as well as economic and financial stability. The project is of key-importance for the Georgian economy,” Margvelashvili stated.

TANAP’s construction will be started in the Turkish province of Kars.

The pipeline will run through 20 provinces of Turkey.

TANAP will not only ensure the energy security of Europe, but also contribute to the development of these provinces.

Furthering Turkey's business interests, the petroleum pipeline company Botas will take part in the construction of TANAP, but remains completely isolated from the planned construction of the Turkish stream.

Another important aspect in TANAP’s construction is the EU’s positive attitude to the project, as well as the signed shareholder agreement between the BP and TANAP consortium, under which BP will become a shareholder in TANAP.

According to Azeri sources, at present, there is no alternative to TANAP. On the other hand, the more Russia is committed to the implementation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline construction project, the more controversy this project causes in Turkey.

Azeri analyst Rufiz Hafizoglu states that there is currently no specific agreement on the final route of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.

“The second point is which side will build the pipeline in Turkey. While the Russian side has stated that Russian Gazprom will construct the Turkish Stream, the Turkish company Botas also has expressed its intention to participate in the construction,” he said, adding that even if Russia’s Turkish Stream project is implemented, it will fail to compete with TANAP. Moreover, this project will be incomplete without Azerbaijan because even if the Turkish Stream project is implemented, the gas supplied through it will fail to enter the European market without the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is intended for supplying Azerbaijani gas to Europe.