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EU Continues Gas Pursuit In Turkmenistan

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (right) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso signed a joint declaration on Caspian gas supplies in Baku on January 13.

A day after securing a commitment from Azerbaijan, top European Union leaders are visiting Turkmenistan to continue the EU's pursuit of natural gas supplies.

In Baku on January 13, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a joint declaration that commits Azerbaijan to providing what is described as "substantial" long-term gas supplies to EU countries.

No volume of gas was specified, but a statement by the European Commission says the declaration marked the first written commitment of Azerbaijan to supply gas to Europe.

The EU hopes that commitments from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will enable the creation of the Southern Gas Corridor, which envisions the construction of pipelines that would deliver gas from the Caspian Sea and Middle East, across Turkey, to Europe, bypassing Russia and Ukraine.

Barroso is making the visit to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

compiled from agency reports