President Saakashvili is in Ankara on July 13 participating in a high-level summit on Nabucco gas pipeline project.
The Prime Ministers of Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary will sign an intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco pipeline to deliver gas from the Caspian Sea region bypassing Russia.
“The project of such scale among so many players has not been implemented in this region yet and this is a very interesting step forward,” President Saakashvili told the summit in the Turkish capital, which among other participants also includes European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri Al-Maliki.
“The struggle for Caspian gas is underway and this is a competition, a struggle for huge resources existing in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Of course, this is a competition and cooperation not only with the participation of European consumers, but also with the participation of China and Japan, and we should take all factors into consideration. With our arrival here today we express our support [to this project] not only by words; we have adopted many declarations in the past, but sometimes there was a sense that we were idle [on moving forward with this project],” Saakashvili said.
Turkmenistan last week expressed interest in providing natural gas to the project, raising hopes of securing enough suppliers to make the pipeline viable.
In his address to the summit the Georgian President also said that “Russia’s aggression against Georgia and cutting off gas supplies to many European countries” were both part of Russia’s “policy of aggression” and “blackmail” in which, he said, gas supply became a tool. He also said that that “dozens of ballistic missiles” were fired by Russia at oil and gas pipelines in Georgia.