as Ministers with responsibility for Energy from the countries participating in the Balkans Energy Interconnections Task Force: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey, as Ministers with responsibility for Energy from the countries which have participated as observers in the activities of the Task Force or who have an interest in the Task Force's results:
Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan and Moldova, and the Member of the European Commission, Mr. Papoutsis, responsible for Energy; recognising:
and having been informed of the Task Force activities since its inception on September 24th l996; having accepted fully the methodology of the Task Force, and having taken note of and been satisfied by the conclusions of the Task Force results;
give their full endorsement to the results of the Task Force and to the categorisation of the evaluated common interest projects, the list of which is annexed to this declaration, and the justification of which, per sector, is as follows:
Category A: projects which have a high maturity and which are needed to integrate the region's national electricity networks with the UCPTE system;
Category B: projects which me less mature and which me useful to integrate the region's national electricity networks with the UCPTE system and to develop regional inter-operability;
Category C: is given to projects that need to be studied further.
In addition, the undersigned recognise the work currently taking place (with the assistance of TACIS and the Trans-European Networks programmes) on the interface and the interconnection between the UCPTE and the electricity systems of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Moldova.
Category A: projects which aim at facilitating oil exports from Russian and Caspian reserves, as well as those improving oil supplies to local markets.
Category B: projects of a lower maturity.
Category A: relative mature and low-risk projects (the implementation of some of which has already begun) which envisage an increase in supply to existing markets with foreseeable increases in demand.
Category B: less mature projects (not yet having entered the construction stage) designed to bring gas to new markets hitherto unsupplied and which also contribute to creating interconnections between Balkan countries thereby helping the development of a regional gas network and to increase security of supply and diversification of supply sources.
Category C: higher risk cross-border interconnection projects in a preliminary phase.
In addition, it is recognised that a number of projects submitted for consideration me of interest to warrant the further attention of the participating countries due to their interrelation with and consequential effects on the above projects. The list of these projects is also attached.
It is also recognised that the results and on-going activities of other projects which me promoting regional co-operation in the energy sector, in particularly the work of the INOGATE project, need to be taken into consideration, and co-ordination between such initiatives enhanced.
The Task Force brought to light three important issues: firstly that of the impact of energy projects to the environment of the Black Sea coast, secondly that of underground gas storage, and thirdly, the need to integrate national electricity markets. These issues have hitherto been considered only nationally, and it is recognised that that they should be considered in a regional context in any follow-up activities linked to the work of the Task Force.
Furthermore, endorsement of the results of the Task Force is granted by the undersigned, as Ministers responsible for energy on behalf of their government, confirming an interest in developing and strengthening energy interconnections, and in continuing work begun in the Task Force context.
In particular, a special consideration is given to targeting resources to and promoting investment in those projects which have been identified as more mature in order to ensure their implementation, whilst accepting that this prioritisation is a process and is therefore the result of an evaluation of the available data and the current circumstances, and consequently recognising that if the data or the circumstances change, the prioritisation should be modified consequently.
With this in mind, the undersigned recommend continuing the work of the Task Force under the co-ordination of the European Commission in order to exchange information and promote common efforts in the development of the region's energy infrastructure, ensuring complementarity with other initiatives focusing on the same or neighbouring regions.
This memorandum does not create rights and obligations under international undersigned; it is intended as a declaration of political intention.
Signatures of the participating countries ministers.
Categorisation of Energy interconnection Projects of Common Interest.
List of Projects of consequence to the Balkans, requiring further study.
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