Azerbaijan has agreed to double its gas exports to the European Union, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev announced on Monday in the Azeri capital of Baku.
Von der Leyen traveled to Baku to negotiate with the specific aim of reaching an agreement through which the European Union could alleviate the continent’s gas shortage and reduce the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy with gas from Azerbaijan.
An agreement was reached, which strengthens the energy cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan. Thus, after last year’s 8.1 billion and this year’s expected 12 billion cubic meters, Azeri gas imports to the EU will be significantly increased by 2027. The agreement was signed by the two respective presidents.
“We will double the supply of gas from Azerbaijan to the European Union. Indeed, with this, we commit to the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor. This is already a very important supply route for the European Union, delivering currently more than 8 billion cubic meters of gas per year,” von der Leyen said at a joint press conference after the meeting.
“And we will expand its capacity to 20 billion cubic meters in a few years. Starting from next year, we should already reach 12 billion cubic meters. This will help compensate for cuts in supplies of Russian gas and contribute significantly to Europe’s security of supply,” she added.
The document enables enhanced cooperation in many areas, including economic diversification, investments, trade and the full exploitation of civil society’s potential, while emphasizing the importance of human rights and the rule of law.
20 billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to the EU annually
The new memorandum of understanding on the strategic partnership to be established in the field of energy matters signed by the two presidents contains a commitment to double the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor in order to deliver at least 20 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU annually by 2027.
This will contribute to the diversification objectives of the REPowerEU plan and help Europe to eliminate its dependence on Russian gas, the parties stressed.