Russia opposes construction of pipeline on Caspian Sea bottom

Mar 18, 2004 01:00 AM

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Kalyuzhny told he was troubled by Kazakhstan's intentions to join in constructing an oil pipeline on the Caspian Sea bottom.
He mentioned the work of the Caspian Sea governments group, which gave the sea an official status as a unique ecosphere, but was unclear about its relationship to future development of the sea. Russia believes the sea could be irreparably harmed by the pipeline.

Nevertheless, Kazakhstan special envoy Ravil Cherdabayev said that his country has a reserve of approximately 10 bn tons of oil and 7 tcm of gas which it needs to export. Therefore, the government of Kazakhstan is looking at the possibility of using alternative routes for transporting oil and gas.
One of the alternatives Cherdabayev named included the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Kazakhstan-China, Iran, and Baku-Tbilisi Erzerum oil pipelines.

Cherdabayev said his government would choose export routes based on the principles of economics and political stability of the transit territory. He also said it was necessary to discuss problems of the legal status of the Caspian Sea and reach an agreement.
„I think that we shall find a consensus because we shouldn't exploit the fields without communication,“ said Cherdabayev.

Source: The Russia Journal
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