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The EU and the countries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions agree on a common energy strategy

The Energy Ministerial Conference of the "Baku Initiative" that brings together the EU countries and the governments of the Caspian and Black Sea regions was held today in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Ministerial Conference agreed on a new Energy Road Map which sets out a long-term plan for enhanced energy cooperation between all partners. Its implementation will pave the way for a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework governing an integrated EU-Black Sea-Caspian Sea common energy market based on the EU acquis.

“This conference has drawn the way towards closer energy integration of these regions of the world”, said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The Road Map agreed by the European Commission and Governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation (as an observer) sets out a plan of action to bridge the gap between the current situation in the energy sector of these countries and the long-term vision for a common energy strategy. All parties agreed to make every effort to facilitate and mobilise private and public financial resources from Partner Countries, EU assistance and international financial institutions to support this process.

This 2nd Energy Ministerial Conference represented a follow-up conference to the 1st Baku Ministerial Conference held on 13 November 2004. The Baku Ministerial Conference set the stage for a new cooperation by confirming mutual interest for supporting gradual development of regional energy markets in the partner countries in order to facilitate gradual integration between the respective energy markets and the EU market in the future.

The participants of the 2nd Ministerial Conference reviewed the work carried out by expert working groups and on this basis, agreed the four following priority areas for future energy cooperation: converging of energy markets; enhancing energy security; supporting sustainable energy development, including energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and demand side management; and attracting investment towards energy projects of common interest.