Russia opposed to gas pipeline under Caspian

Mar 19, 1999 01:00 AM

Russia voiced its opposition to the construction of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline planned by Turkey and Turkmenistan, saying such facilities may endanger the Caspian's ecological safety.
"The Russian side had an invariably negative attitude toward construction of trans-Caspian underwater pipeline," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said.
The pipelines could hurt the single closed Caspian ecosystem and the unique sturgeon population, Rakhmanin said.

In addition, he said, Moscow considers it premature to go ahead with such projects before the littoral states agree on the legal status of the Caspian Sea and interstate compensation of damage to their marine environment in case of accidents.
"We have given notice of our understanding of this issue to the Turkmen side, in particular by handing over a special study ... and expect that the position on construction of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline," he said.

The pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, Georgia and then Erzurum, Turkey, will be 2,000 km long. Its cost is estimated at $ 2 bn, and capacity at about 16 bn cm a year.

Source: Xinhua
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