Either laymen or provocateurs can talk about the fact that we will buy gas from Russia and then sell it, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said during an interview with local TV channels, Trend reports.
"Yes, we used to buy gas from Russia, it was a long time ago when I was still working in an industrial company. It was profitable. At that time, our own gas was not sufficient, and we bought gas in order not to use fuel oil in the production of electricity, i.e. to get more benefits. Of course, fuel-fired power plants pollute the environment. Today, all of our power plants run on gas, water and other partially renewable sources. Also, if I am not mistaken, in 2006 or 2007, gas purchases from Russia were stopped due to a sharp increase in prices – they practically doubled. At that time, we were told that the price would be twice as high. The price was already quite high compared to the price in Western European countries, and the volumes being sold were supposed to reduce four times. We used to buy 4 billion cubic meters of gas, but they told us on behalf of “Gazprom” that they could supply us only 1 billion cubic meters of gas. This conversation took place at the end of the year, in November, after the country's energy balance had already been approved. Under such circumstances, we had only one month left to make a decision. Instead of the expected 4 billion cubic meters, we could get only 1 billion cubic meters. But we got out of the situation. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. This situation compelled us to pay more attention to production in our own country, and we stopped buying gas from Russia. About 15 years have passed since then.
Now we are talking about buying 1 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia. The contract was signed at the end of last year, but we have not received even half of that volume. Why are we doing this? Yes, our consumption is increasing, the population is increasing. Enterprises that did not work at full capacity when there were insufficient reserves – methanol plant, urea plant, petrochemical plants – are now working at full capacity. If we look at the volume of production and exports in Azerbaijan last year alone, we will see that we exported 22 billion cubic meters of gas and I think we imported only 200 and 300 million cubic meters, i.e. one percent. This year we will export 24 billion cubic meters of gas and import the remainder of that 1 billion cubic meters. So either laymen or provocateurs can talk about the fact that we will buy gas from Russia and then sell it. I think in this case we are facing both. However, attempts to constantly slander Azerbaijan and reduce our role and importance are not new. I remember that at one time they used to say that Azerbaijan does not have oil and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will not be built, then they said that Azerbaijan does not have gas, and now they are saying this. Let them say whatever they want. We have done our job and we are doing it successfully," President Ilham Aliyev said.