EU will continue to seek to extend the Southern Gas Corridor to Central Asia, according conclusions of the European Council on the EU Strategy for Central Asia, adopted on June 19.
“In the energy, infrastructure and transport sectors, the Council emphasizes that cooperation between the EU and Central Asia should prioritize the integration of the Central Asian countries with each other and into international markets and transport corridors. The EU will continue to seek to extend the Southern Gas Corridor to Central Asia, and to further promote the EU’s multilateral and bilateral energy cooperation,” the document, published on the website of the Council, reads.
The European Council stressed that the EU will also continue to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in Central Asia by offering its expertise in the development of sound regulatory frameworks and by supporting investment cooperation with European financial institutions.
The Council noted that the countries of Central Asia have become significant partners of the EU.
“Ten years after the adoption of the Central Asia strategy, and more than 25 years after the five countries became independent, the Council welcomes the progress achieved in developing the EU’s relations with Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as with the Central Asian region as a whole,” the document said.
The Council reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to develop stronger relations and highlighted the need to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on human rights, education, sustainability as well as on tackling emerging security challenges faced by the Central Asian countries.
The EU-Central Asia relations are being developed under the EU strategy for Central Asia, signed in 2007 and reviewed in 2015.
The Council also invited the High Representative and the Commission to come forward with a proposal for a new strategy by the end of 2019 in accordance with the EU Global Strategy.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.