In the foreseeable future, Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey will move along the path of strengthening inter-regional energy cooperation, deputy director of the Center for Study of Contemporary Turkey Faridun Usmonov said, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza on the sidelines of the international conference titled 'Azerbaijan-Russia-Turkey: political dialogue, economics, security,' which was held in Baku.
First of all, he drew attention to the fact that Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey are successfully cooperating at the bilateral level. "Azerbaijan and Turkey are economically integrated, their business relations are at a high level. The cooperation between Russia and Turkey is developing actively, and Russia has good economic relations with Azerbaijan, which are mostly based on contacts in the energy sector, agriculture and industry. Today there is a clear understanding in Russia that Azerbaijan's TANAP and TAP gas export projects are not competitors to Russian gas supplies to Europe, but rather complete them," Faridun Usmonov noted.
"As for the future trilateral format, the common ground is rather in Turkey, which has become an energy hub for gas flows from Russia, Azerbaijan and other countries. It is expected that in the near future the three states will strengthen energy cooperation. Russia and Azerbaijan are interested in high gas prices, and Turkey is interested in high gas sales to Europe, respectively, such a format of cooperation can benefit all three parties. So, our countries will certainly intensify cooperation in the energy sector," the deputy director of the Center for Study of Contemporary Turkey expressed confidence.
Another area of cooperation within which is able of extending the format is the creation of transport corridors. "The Russian-Turkish transport corridor project provides an opportunity to cooperate not only with Russia and Turkey, but also connect other countries of the region, not only Azerbaijan, but also Georgia and Iran. Thus, today there is no more talk of Russia and Turkey developing relations only in a bilateral format: in order to maximize the benefits for all states interacting in the region, it is very important to contact in a multilateral format, with the involvement of all interested parties," Faridun Usmonov concluded.