Baku Says No Pipeline Through Armenia

BAKU (Interfax)–Azeri state foreign-policy advisor Vafa Guluzade told Interfax Sunday in commenting on Armenian Deputy Energy Minister Karen Galustian’s statemen’s that Baku does not intend to change its plans regarding the main route of the Baku-Ceyhan export pipeline–or shift its construction from Georgia to Armenia.

Galustian argued that the laying of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline through Armenia will be $500 million less expensive than any other option.

The route of the basic export pipeline to ship Azeri oil to the West "was endorsed and is not subject to change," said Guluzade–adding "We will not swap Georgia for Armenia"

He also made it clear that the possibility of laying a pipeline extension through Armenia had earlier been discussed as an option. However–Armenia then turned down the peace plan on Karabakh and "lost its chance" by doing so–the counselor said.

According to Guluzade–relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan are of strategic character "and coincide not only in terms of economic development–but also in terms of political interests."

Regarding economic cooperation with Armenia–including in laying an oil pipeline–he said that it will be possible only after the Karabakh conflicts has been settled.

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