European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed a memorandum on strategic partnership in the energy sector with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on Monday.
The EU has found an alternative to Russian gas in Azerbaijan. Baku must ensure the supply of at least 20 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU annually until 2027.
Azerbaijan is now expected to increase natural gas supplies to the EU from 8.1 billion cubic meters in 2021 to an expected 12 billion cubic meters in 2022.
The Memorandum between the EU and Azerbaijan states that the parties share the accelerated transition to energy from renewable sources and the fight against harmful emissions to the environment.
After signing the document, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson will conduct an energy dialogue with the Energy Minister of Azerbaijan Parviz Shahbazov to discuss the practical implementation of the above measures.
In addition, the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council will meet in Brussels on July 19 to review common issues of bilateral relations and discuss potential areas of mutual interest for future cooperation.
Stay without Russia
The gas confrontation between Europe and Russia is intensifying. After Moscow’s full attack on Ukraine, the EU decided to gradually phase out Russian gas. The Kremlin, in turn, began blackmailing the gas shutdown today.
EU countries are already preparing for a scenario if Russia does not resume gas supplies after the alleged repair of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. In the event of a crisis, the countries participating in the plan are obliged to show solidarity and provide gas to each other, as well as exchange information. In addition, EU states must fill gas storage facilities by 80 percent before the start of the next heating season in Europe.
The European Commission has long called on EU member states to end bilateral agreements on solidarity gas supplies, as in Brussels there is no centralized distribution through quotas and similar measures. Until recently, Germany concluded three agreements: with Denmark, Austria and the Czech Republic. Other agreements were reached between Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, Finland and Estonia, as well as between Italy and Slovenia.
Won’t winter last?
The story in Azerbaijan is about Russia’s search for an alternative to gas.
The Baltic countries and Germany, for example, rely on liquefied gas from the Middle East or the United States, which should partly go to floating terminals that are still under construction. Italy buys gas from Algeria and Azerbaijan. Additional gas from Norway, the UAE, Algeria and the Netherlands will be sold at rising prices.
But all this, according to the European Commission, is not enough to fill Russia’s missing gas supplies. Therefore, Brussels calls for savings and limiting gas consumption for public infrastructure.
The European Commission intends to establish rules according to which public buildings, institutions, workplaces should only heat to a temperature of 19 degrees.
I am David Wyatt, a professional writer and journalist for Buna Times. I specialize in the world section of news coverage, where I bring to light stories and issues that affect us globally. As a graduate of Journalism, I have always had the passion to spread knowledge through writing.