Russia and Iran signed a memorandum, according to which Russian Gazprom will transport gas to northern Iran via Azerbaijan
Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Iranian Oil Minister Qolam Hosein Nozari signed a hydrocarbon memorandum on Sunday.
Under the document, Russia is to supply the country with fuel on account of the gas it buys from Turkmenistan.
In exchange for the deliveries of Central Asian gas, it may buy various types of fuel from the southern part of the Islamic republic, including oil, condensate and compressed gas.
Moreover, Russia intends to be involved in building a compressed gas plant in southern Iran.
The memorandum also envisions cooperation in initiating energy projects in both Russia and Iran as well as in third states, exchange of technology and financial resources for projects and establishing joint ventures.
Gazprom department head Stanislav Tsygankov say Azerbaijan's territory may be used for the deliveries of gas to neighboring Iran.
The South Caucasus republic commands a suitable infrastructure linking it to the gas distribution networks of both Russia and Iran.
"There is the gas pipeline from Azerbaijan, which is not being used at present but is quite operational," he said.
However, Nazim Samadzada, deputy head of Azerbaijan's state-controlled gas supplier Azerigas, said that although technical capacities are available for the transportation of Russian gas to Iran via Azerbaijan, this first requires signing of a respective inter-governmental agreement and agreeing on the transit fee.
In addition to that, Natig Aliyev, Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy, did not rule out that problems would surface with gas transportation itself.
"If the planned transit transportation process fails to comply with Azerbaijan's interests, we will reject it," he warned.