The European Union is hailing a new energy agreement with Azerbaijan that could see the gas-rich Caspian nation double the flow of gas to Europe in five years, part of Brussels’ effort to reduce reliance on Russia.
After the July 18 signing ceremony in Baku, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen both stressed their commitment to strengthening and broadening collaboration in energy and other areas.
“Cooperation in the field of energy has always been at the top of our agenda,” said Aliyev. “We are interested in expanding cooperation in education, transportation and all other areas.”
For her part, von der Leyen said that with the new memorandum of understanding, the EU is “opening a new chapter in our energy cooperation with Azerbaijan, a key partner in our efforts to move away from Russian fossil fuels.”
EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson confirmed that under the memorandum Azerbaijan is “expected” to deliver an extra 4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to the EU this year (bringing the total to 12 bcm) and to increase transfers to “at least” 20 bcm by 2027.