Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran can compete and co-op in energy sector

  06 November 2017    Read: 1632
Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran can compete and co-op in energy sector
Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran could cooperate in the energy sector, Francis Perrin, Senior Fellow at the OCP Policy Center (Rabat) and Senior Research Fellow at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS, Paris) told .
“In fact, the three countries are competitors, but it does not mean that they cannot cooperate. They are competitors because each of them wants to sell its oil and gas on world markets and each of them wants to attract foreign investors,” said the expert, adding that in the energy and the economic sectors countries and/or companies can at the same time compete and cooperate with one another.

Regarding the Azerbaijan-Iran-Russia trilateral cooperation platform, Perrin noted that Azerbaijan has common borders with Iran and Russia and it is of course in the interest of the three countries to exchange on several political, security, economic and energy issues.

“As far as energy is concerned, the three countries are oil and gas producers and exporters. Russia and Azerbaijan are two of the non-OPEC states which are cooperating with OPEC in order to rebalance the world oil market and Iran is a member country of OPEC. This cooperation did generate positive results and oil prices now exceed the $60 per barrel threshold. Russia and Iran are members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) and Azerbaijan is an observer at the GECF. The three countries border the Caspian Sea and there are talks about the legal status of this sea with important consequences on the exploitation of its oil and gas resources. There are opportunities for swaps of crude oil and refined products,” he said.

There is thus no doubt that the energy field and some other economic sectors, especially transport and infrastructure, offer good areas of trilateral or bilateral cooperation, said Perrin, adding that there are also discussions about the reduction or elimination of obstacles to trade.

Azerbaijani, Iranian and Russian presidents held a trilateral meeting Nov. 1 in Tehran.

Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani president’s aide for public and political affairs, said in an interview with Trend that this meeting is first of all, a platform important for ensuring stability, security and promoting collaborative environment in the region, for further development of trade-economic ties, cooperation in energy and transport sectors between the countries, and solution of other pressing issues

The mutual respect and fruitful cooperation between the three countries is of great importance for solution of pressing issues of the whole region, and all participants are determined to continue the fruitful cooperation, Hasanov added.

“I should also note that initiative and leadership of the majority of bilateral and multilateral meetings, held in the region lately, belong to Azerbaijan. The initiative to hold a tripartite meeting of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia, to create partnership between them, as well as the initiative of joint projects that are being implemented or intended to be implemented also came from Azerbaijan, and they have already begun to yield positive results.”

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