The European Union(EU) has eyed to cement its energy ties with Azerbaijan.
European Union“Azerbaijan is an important partner for the European…We want to build on our reliable and strategic partnership in the energy field.” European Council President Donald Tusk said on Monday at a joint press conference with visiting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels, hailing Azerbaijan’s pivotal role in Europe’s energy security and diversification of supplies.
Referring to the Souther Gas Corridor,a strategic initiative to bring Caspian, Central Asian and Middle Eastern gas resources to the European markets, Tusk said the two sides have a shared commitment to finalize the corridor, as “it is a key priority for both sides.”
The initiative is EU’s main diversification tool for the security of energy supply.
Azerbaijan currently supplies around 5 percent of the EU’s oil demand and plays a pivotal role in bringing Caspian gas resources to the EU market through the corridor.
Former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and President Aliyev signed a Joint Declaration on the Southern Gas Corridor in January 2011 in Baku.
According to the declaration, Azerbaijani’s gas field Shah Deniz II will provide initial 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year to the European markets plus additional 6 billion cubic metres per year to Turkey.
Tusk announced that the negotiations on a new EU-Azerbaijan agreement will be launched on Tuesday.
He asserted that “our relations go beyond energy and trade”, and “we want to upgrade our relationship and develop its full potential through a new bilateral agreement.”
“This new agreement will broaden the scope of our relations, taking into account the new global, political and economic interests we share and challenges we want to face together,” he said.
The EU is Azerbaijan’s first trading partner, accounting 51 percent of the country’s total trade. Enditem