The signing ceremony of the joint declaration of the State Leaders was held at the President's Palace "Zagulba" in Baku. The Presidents of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Romania and the PM of Hungary on September 14 signed the declaration.
The document envisages the political support of the project. By means of the new energy project gas will be supplied to EU countries by Caspian energy carriers via Georgia. It is planned to build two new natural gas liquefying terminals on the Black Sea in Georgia and Hungary. The Leaders of the States held a joint press conference after the official ceremony.
The Presidents called Baku declaration historic and a new project the most realistic. It was decided that Hungary will join the project as well. According to the PM Orban's statement his country together with Romania will be the major lobbyists of this new project in EU.
Mikheil Saakashvili: "This is the most important breakthrough in the issues of energy security. Energy must become a serious tool and must not be easily surrendered, regarding politics. EU will receive natural gas from Azerbaijan via Georgia. This is an important new project, but Nabuko is not less important strategically and it must develop as well. Earlier there were only Batumi and Poti ports, but the situation has completely changed. Supsa and Kulevi terminals were added to them and now already Anaklia. And all of these happens when 2/3 of the seashore is occupied in Georgia. In the last two years we increased energy potential of country and are going to increase it more. The role of Georgia as a transit country rises. It is important to establish connections in Eastern directions - Iran, Turkey, Iraq. In the world during last 2-3 years the situation has changed significantly and now we live in the world, where not only the oil selling countries dictate conditions, but their customers as well. Earlier energy suppliers were major players, now the same can be said about the customers.
Pressure and manipulation from the energy exporter countries was permanently happening. Now it changes and new energy policy is being created and there appear new ways for supplying gas. New gas deposits are developing. On the other hand there exists a big tradition. Baku was one of the first oil producing cities, where the oil was exported via Batumi.
Now we have far better conditions, despite the occupation of our country's territories soon the construction of the railway that will connect Georgia with Turkey and this will connect EU to Central Asia via Georgia and Azerbaijan by the shortest way possible.
Georgia will double production of electric energy in 2-3 years and more export-import will be carried out by using Northern-Southern corridor.
We will have a chance to export energy to Turkey, Iran and Iraq. We will work with Azerbaijan energy sector in the parallel regime.
Earlier we imported 8% of electric energy from Russia, now it's on the contrary - we export energy to Russia.
The decision made by Azerbaijan is a real breakthrough and a revolutionary step. This city develops very fast. Yesterday I went sightseeing and saw the new constructions. Our countries have close political connections and these projects are based on our common vision. This is a serious breakthrough and if we look at the map this is a logical development.
The project will cross the Black Sea and will supply gas from Caspian region in the direction of Europe. We certainly support Nabuko and it has great perspectives as well. But we must express our opinion about the project that supports the development of Eastern partnership more. Hungary is a new blood in this project. This is the most realistic project compared with all alternative projects. The most logical is a short connecting road that will run 1100 km on the Black Sea".
Ilkham Aliev: "This project has a great future. There is a political will for fulfilling it. Much has to be done in order to implement it. We must construct a new pipeline - we are speaking about the balance of interests of everyone - obtainers, transit countries and customers. We are supplying gas to all our neighbors, but we don't use our exporting potential, we are looking for new markets, we can increase export in Georgia, because Georgia develops fast economically and the demand increases correspondingly. I want to express gratitude to those countries that participate in the project. Special thanks to Mikheil Saakashvili, because Georgia is the major guarantor of the realization of this project. This is a century project and of course the role of the three countries is important. I want to thank President Saakashvili for his efforts that he showed in the development of Eastern energy corridor. Georgia is a very important country for us. Our relations count many centuries and today Georgia and Azerbaijan cooperate more actively in the energy sphere and this is very important".
Traian Basescu: "Our countries will continue cooperation and we will support strengthening of the security architecture existing in Europe. This architecture first of all must respond to principles and values. Stability and peace must be established in the countries of the Black Sea region by international efforts. Every existing conflict must be resolved by means of International Legislation. Any support of the separatist regions is the attempt to break stability in the whole region. Together with our European partners we must try to resolve these conflicts. This is a mandatory condition for the Black Sea region. I want to congratulate Georgia on the occasion of passing the UN resolution regarding the IDPs' rights to return to their own homes. We are supporting Georgia and I vote for including International Society more actively in this process. The participation of Hungary in this project means that EU has the right attitude towards this issue. EU and NATO depends on the existing situation in the region. The project leans on effectiveness and not on political decisions. It is first time when two seashores of EU are getting connected and the energy security lies on national security".
Viktor Orban: "It was a mistake that Hungary didn't get involved in this project from the very beginning. We must continue such cooperation that will be useful for all the sides. I want to separate three aspects: first - from the political point of view this is a step forward, second - it is necessary to diversify energy projects, third - Hungary must become the guarantor of the project and the lobbyist inside EU. We will do everything in order this project to be stable. EU is interested in this project and earlier or later it will figure out that it is necessary to overcome the difficulties and cooperation. We must understand what it means to include other institutions and Stated in such project. I think Europe must be open for such projects".