Baku, Jul 18 (EFE).- The European Union and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on Monday to double the supply of gas to the bloc and strengthen existing cooperation as energy supplies from Russia wane due to the war in Ukraine.
“The memorandum of understanding that we have just signed makes our energy partnership even stronger,” European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said at a joint press conference in Baku with Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev.
“Already before Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian gas supplies to Europe were no longer reliable,” von der Leyen said.
“The European Union has therefore decided to diversify away from Russia and to turn to more reliable, trustworthy partners and I am glad to count Azerbaijan among them,” she added, calling Baku a “crucial energy partner.”
The Memorandum of Understanding between Brussels and Baku includes the commitment to double the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor to deliver at least 20 billion cubic meters to the EU annually by 2027.
The Southern Gas Corridor is fed by the giant Shah Deniz II field in the Azerbaijani part of the Caspian Sea.
“Today’s memorandum is not the first document which was signed between us, (…) We have a good history and good achievements,” Aliyev said.
“Energy projects initiated by Azerbaijan and supported by the EU and our partners completely changed the energy map of Europe,” he added.
The MoU contributes to the REPowerEU Plan to end Europe’s dependency on Russian energy as well as to the development and deployment of renewable energy.
“Azerbaijan has a tremendous potential in renewable energy. Today we are laying the ground for a new partnership in this area,” von der Leyen tweeted. EFE