Azerbaijan has always expressed readiness to increase gas supplies and help Europe overcome the crisis. The country has become a trusted and reliable energy partner of Europe thanks to the clear energy strategy of President Ilham Aliyev. The EU countries are strengthening and enhancing energy partnerships with Azerbaijan year by year, as well as supporting all initiatives in this regard.
Like all projects initiated by Azerbaijan, the EU gas expansion project is becoming a reality as well. In particular, against the backdrop of a global energy crisis and the need for real diversification of gas supply sources and routes, the EU countries have repeatedly expressed interest in boosting gas supplies from Azerbaijan or in gaining access to it. Last year numerous mutual visits at the highest level took place, the focal point of which was expanding the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Meanwhile, while receiving Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez in Sofia, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said that five EU countries have developed a dedicated project to increase the supply of Azerbaijani 'blue' fuel. He also noted that the project is supposed to be presented in Baku on February 3, 2023.
"This project will allow immediately start pumping additional natural gas amount from Azerbaijan to Europe with minimal funds. Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria joined this project, following the initiative of Bulgaria," Radev said.
The mentioned project is the practical implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed between the European Commission and Azerbaijan on enhancing energy cooperation in July 2022. Among other things, the memorandum provides for an increase in Azerbaijani gas supplies to the EU from the current 10 billion cubic meters to 20 billion cubic meters by 2027. The country's natural gas exports to the EU will reach at least 11.6 billion cubic meters in 2023. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's overall export of natural gas will be almost 24 billion cubic meters.
While being interviewed by the Azerbaijani TV channels in Prague on October 6, 2022, President Ilham Aliyev talked about plans to at least double Azerbaijani gas exports to Europe in the coming years.
So, another step is being taken towards reinforcing and expanding Azerbaijan-EU energy cooperation. Azerbaijan, which fulfills all its obligations in a timely and efficient manner, is actually turning into a dependable supplier not only for Europe, but for the whole world.