Commenting, in an interview to the Izvestia newspaper, on "Russia's position" regarding the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Kalyuzhny said that such projects are "the internal affair of other states" and Russia has no grounds to "interfere in any way". From the economic point of view, each project "is entitled to be, in case the energy policy is reasonable".
"The main goal of the BTC members is, of course, to 'lure' Kazakh oil to secure a pipeline load of at least 30 million tonnes annually", he stressed.
In the context of protecting national interests by the Russian state-run company Transneft, "it is to be promptly understood that a competitor is emerging and more flexible approaches to the tariff policy have to be worked out".
In the opinion of Kalyuzhny, Kazakh oil fields "hold much promise as regards the resource base". The programme for developing the energy complex of Kazakhstan intends the production of between 120 and 150 million tonnes in 10 to 15 years to come, at its domestic demand being only from 20 to 30 million tonnes. Thus, Kazakhstan will have to seek for oil-export options, he said.
At some stage, Russia sought interaction with Kazakhstan in the joint transit of hydrocarbons to Europe. Things have somewhat changed in the last four years. Russian proposals, such as joint going for China, have remained unrealised and of late Kazakhstan has been independently looking for foreign markets.
For instance, Astana has recently voiced the intention to lay a pipeline on the Caspian seabed from the Kazakh Mangyshlak oil fields to Baku, where the BTC begins and which Kazakhstan is going to join. While there is no seabed pipeline yet (Moscow and Iran are sharply against), the Kazakh oil load on the BTC will be, for a beginning, over ten million tonnes annually. Oil will be brought to Azerbaijan in tankers.