Georgia’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister, Dimitri Kumsishvili visited Azerbaijan on February 15, where he attended the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council and held bilateral meetings with Azerbaijani and Turkish officials.
“Development of the Southern Gas Corridor as well as expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline and completion of the Shah-Deniz Stage 2 project is of huge importance for our country,” Kumsishvili said in his address at the Ministerial Meeting. He also focused on the benefits expected from energy projects, noting that by 2022, Georgia will be able to receive twice more volume – up to 1.6 billion cubic meters of gas. “Of course, it will have positive effects on our economic development and energy security,” he added.
During his visit to Baku, the Georgian Economy Minister met with Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev. The sides stressed long partner relations between the two countries and discussed the issues of cooperation in economic, trade and energy spheres. Kumsishvili and Aliyev stressed the importance of implementation of transit projects, among them Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Southern Gas Corridor, One Road – One Belt and other projects.
The Azerbaijani President stressed that the Southern Gas Corridor project is being successfully implemented, describing it as a sign of the two countries` “opportunities and partnership,” according to Aliyev’s press office.
During his visit to Baku, Kumsishvili also held talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Shahin Mustafayev, as well as Azerbaijani and Turkish Energy Ministers, Parviz Shahbazov and Berat Albayrak, respectively.
According to the Georgian Economy Ministry, the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council ended by signing a joint declaration, where the parties confirmed the political support for the Shah-Deniz Stage 2 project, and stressed special role of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project.
The Southern Gas Corridor project aims at diversification of gas supplies to Europe. The corridor will connect South Caucasus, Trans Anatolian and Trans Adriatic gas pipelines, which transport gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to Europe. Initially, approximately 10 billion cubic meters of gas will flow along this route when it opens in 2019-2020.