Russia squeezed by Azerbaijan on gas market in Europe

Ukraine and the EU have asked Azerbaijan for gas supplies, IPN reports, with reference to the Azeri news agency APA.

Given that by accepting, Azerbaijan puts a squeeze on Russia in the delivery of gas to Europe, the source notes that this happens following the expiration of the contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine, and the new cooperation is not directed against third parties.

APA said that European officials have presented a scheme to Azerbaijan for the implementation of gas transport via a pipeline, which passes through Ukrainian territory and through which Russian gas is transported now. The main interested parties in this issue are precisely official Brussels and official Kyiv. And Azerbaijan, as a reliable partner and a country that contributes to Europe’s energy security, responds to this issue accordingly.

Official Baku is trying to prevent an energy crisis in Europe or any other region and, in the event of a request for assistance, provides support within its capabilities. No manipulations in the media or diplomatic circles related to Baku’s good intentions in this matter are allowed, said APA.

It is obvious that with the cessation of gas supplies through the existing pipeline, a serious energy crisis may arise in Europe; countries such as Slovakia and Austria may face a shortage of blue fuel. On the other hand, the Ukrainian gas network, designed for transit, may also decline if Russian gas transportation is stopped. In this regard, in addition to the commercial component, certain humanitarian aspects are also evident in the increase in gas supplies to the EU by official Baku.

Considering that Azerbaijan cooperated with the EU in the energy sector long before the conflict with Ukraine, it becomes clear that speculation on this matter is unfounded. Thus, back in 2021, Azerbaijan supplied more than 8 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU countries. Azerbaijan transports gas to Italy, the Balkan countries via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). Currently, gas from Azerbaijan is supplied to such EU countries as Italy, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, as well as to European countries such as Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia. An increase in the number of EU countries, partner states, which have recently purchased gas from Azerbaijan is expected. And by 2024, the volume of gas exports from our country to the EU will be 12 billion cubic meters, by 2027 - 20 billion cubic meters.

IPN informed that the Republic of Moldova is progressively connected to the new gas distribution scheme in the region by joining the Vertical Gas Corridor, alongside Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.

“The system operators, i.e. the companies that manage the gas transmission networks in the respective countries, joined the memorandum. Adherence to this memorandum means diversification of the sources and routes of natural gas supply of Central and South-Eastern Europe, which leads to the reduction of dependence on Gazprom,” secretary of state of the Ministry of Energy Constantin Borosan told RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service.

First announced in 2016, the Vertical Corridor is now integrated into the Trans-Balkan Gas Pipeline and allows the transportation of natural gas from Greece to the Republic of Moldova and to underground storage facilities in Ukraine. The pipeline could transport both natural gas from Azerbaijan and liquefied petroleum gas from the Revitus and Alexandroupolis terminals in Greece.

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