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Premier Victor Ponta met Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Baku


Romanian Premier Victor Ponta on Thursday, in Baku, met Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and First Deputy Premier Yagub Eyyubov. Previously the Romanian Head of Government laid a wreath at the tomb former President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and a bunch of flowers at his wife's tomb.

Premier Victor Ponta on Wednesday, June 26, arrived in Baku, where he pays an official visit as part of an Asian tour, which also includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China. The delegation accompanying the Premier includes Minister Delegate for Energy Constantin Nita and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu.


PM Ponta, Azerbaijan's president decide four AGRI states' energy ministers to meet in Baku


A meeting of the energy ministers of the four states involved in the AGRI natural gas project is to take place in Baku in the upcoming period, in order to set the details relating the concrete progress of the project, it was decided at a Thursday meeting between visiting Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in Baku.

'The importance of the AGRI project was reconfirmed during the meeting and also reiterated was the concrete support rendered by the two states to this project, with the two sides deciding that the energy ministers of the four states involved in it should meet in Baku in the upcoming period in order to set the details relating the concrete progress of the project', the Romanian Government's Press Office said in a release.

The situation of the Azeri investments in Romania was tackled during the talks, with the Azeri leader showing particular interest in Azeri oil companies SOCAR and SOFAR investments. Aliyev also spoke of the Azeri side's interest in investing in the banking system.

Ponta to Eyyubov: We understand the economic reason behind choosing TAP; time to continue with AGRI

Ponta had a meeting with Azeri Prime Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov, who reconfirmed the Azeri side's interest in SOCAR investments as well as in the AGRI project. Furthermore, he confirmed that the Azeri energy minister will visit Bucharest in this autumn and will be accompanied by SOCAR managers. The two sides agreed to start working on achieving the project of the goods transport corridor between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the period immediately ahead.


Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta pleaded for 'successful economic relations,' saying that he understands the economic motivation behind Azerbaijan's choosing the TAP project to the detriment of Nabucco, in which Romania was also involved, and that Romania and Azerbaijan should continue to develop together the AGRI project.

'I had an excellent meeting with your president this morning and we discussed the excellent political relations between Romania and Azerbaijan. Romania is one, maybe the only, European Union member state to have a special partnership with Azerbaijan. Romania has always acted like the best friend of Azerbaijan in Europe and wants to continue this way,' said Ponta.

He assured Eyyubov of the positive part played by Romania in the Eastern Partnership of the EU that includes Azerbaijan.

'My strong message was that after these excellent political relations there should be successful economic projects. I have certainly heard about the decision on the southern gas corridor. We understand the economic motivations behind the selection of TAP instead of Nabucco, but, because of these latest developments in the southern corridor we should have other successful joint economic projects,' said Ponta.

He mentioned to the point two projects about which he said he discussed with the Azeri president, namely AGRI and the investment in Romania of the Azeri company Socar. 'I believe the time has come for us to carry on with the AGRI project, which is a medium and long-term project,' said Ponta.

The second project involves the involvement of the Azeri Socar company in actual investment projects in Romania.

Ponta also said the Azeri energy minister is expected in Bucharest this September for concrete discussions on these two projects.

'I want to assure you of the Romanian Government's full support and my personal involvement in these projects,' Ponta added.

He stated that the excellent political relations between Romania and Azerbaijan should be followed by actual projects.

The final decision on the consortium to exploit the gas deposits of Shah Deniz will be made public on June 28, according to the scheduled agreed for the selection of a route for the Azeri natural gas to Europe, according to the Department of Energy with Romania's Economy Ministry.

Austria's OMV oil and gas company on Wednesday reported that the project for the Nabucco West pipeline was rejected by the Shah Deniz II consortium for the supply of Azeri natural gas. The Nabucco West project, where Romania was represented by the country's national gas transmission corporation Transgaz, lost the competition to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project.

SOCAR vice president, who attended Ponta's meeting with Eyyubov, also confirmed the company's interest in boosting its investments in Romania, with the details relating such moves to be discussed in the near future. The petro-chemical industry is one of the sectors that could be targeted by SOCAR.

Ponta paid an official visit to Azerbaijan on Thursday, the first visit paid by a Romanian prime minister to the Caucasus republic since diplomatic relations were established in 1992.

Azerbaijan is the only Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country with which Romania has relations ranked a Strategic Partnership.

Romania is interested in the concrete implementation of the measures included in the Action Plan under the Strategic Partnership. The areas targeted by it include the political dialogue, the economic cooperation and mutual investments, the cooperation on energy, security , multilateral cooperation, cooperation on culture and others, the Government said in the release.