Robert Cutler, Senior Research Fellow at Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Carleton University spoke to Day.Az in an interview. Published under by-line of T. Teymur.
Day.Az: There's an suggestions that during the Aktau summit the questions concerning Caspian sea were discussed without Iran. What do you think about it? How would it impact the future talks with all five Caspian littoral states?
Robert Cutler: Of course following the public Iranian protest, there was a statement that nothing of a Caspian-wide nature would be discussed. But there was no agenda set for the talks, and anything could have been discussed, including outside the formal meetings. If this happened, it could only have contributed to consensus-building in the five-way talks, just as previous bilateral and trilateral meetings have done. However, I have no first-hand information on what was in fact discussed.
Q: Taking into consideration that Iran wasn't invited to Aktau what should be expected from the Caspian summit with all leaders of Caspian littoral states participating?
A: It would be surprising if there were great substantive progress beyond what was achieved at the last meeting.
Q: As far as diversification of gas supplies to Europe are concerned, how important do you believe is Azerbaijan's role in the Nabucco project?
A: Azerbaijan has a key role to play in the Nabucco project through development of the Shah Deniz Two deposit and as a transit country for larger quantities of gas to Europe from Turkmenistan.
Q: Considering the latest gas supply talks, will Turkmenistan become a part of the Nabucco project?
A: Yes, but this may take more time than originally foreseen.