MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. The interest of Southeast European countries in the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) does not mean their refusal to cooperate with Russia, which may join this project, Russia’s Permanent Envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.
The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline is part of the Southern Gas Corridor lobbied by the European Union as an alternative to Europe-bound supplies via Russian gas pipelines.
"There is nothing strange in the fact that Southeast European countries, including Serbia and Macedonia, look at alternatives [for gas supplies] of interest for them," the Russian envoy said.
"This does not mean that they are giving up joint projects with us," he added.
"After all, Russia’s participation in the TANAP is quite possible," the diplomat said.
The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline is expected to be built on the territory of Turkey to ensure gas transit from Azerbaijan’s gas fields to Turkey’s western border for connection with the European gas pipeline network.
The gas pipeline is expected to be subsequently filled with natural gas produced not only in Azerbaijan but also in other countries of the Caspian region and the Middle East, specifically, Turkmenistan and Iran.
The TANAP gas pipeline is expected to be built in 2017-2018 when gas production starts as part of the second stage for the development of the giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani portion of the Caspian Sea with reserves estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters.