Azerbaijan is to fill in for a lack of Russian gas supplies - the EU has agreed with the country near Moscow to double the supply. President Aliyev should also help with the expansion of renewable energies.
In order to free itself from energy supplies from Russia, the EU wants to purchase significantly more gas from the South Caucasus Republic of Azerbaijan in the future. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev signed a declaration of intent in Baku today, according to which the southern gas corridor is to be used to deliver twice as much gas per year within five years as has been the case up to now. From 2027, at least 20 billion cubic meters should flow annually. The EU is thus turning to a "more reliable energy supplier," von der Leyen tweeted.
Von der Leyen said in the Azerbaijani capital that the declaration of intent would open "a new chapter in energy cooperation" with Azerbaijan. The authoritarian former Soviet republic, which also has close ties to Russia, is a key partner in moving away from fossil fuels in Russia. 8.1 billion cubic meters are already being delivered annually, and from next year it should be 12 billion. "This will help offset cuts in Russian gas supplies."
Aliyev stressed that energy security issues are now more important than ever. "Of course, long-term, predictable and very reliable energy cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan is of great value."
In addition to gas deliveries, the declaration of intent also provides for closer cooperation on renewable energies. Azerbaijan has "enormous potential" in this area, said von der Leyen, especially in offshore wind energy and green hydrogen. In this way, Azerbaijan will develop from a supplier of fossil fuels to a partner for renewable energy. In order to deepen economic cooperation, both sides are also working on an agreement that should be concluded soon.
Meanwhile, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has offered Germany and Europe closer cooperation to secure energy supplies. "The gas production in the east of the Mediterranean could be delivered and exported to Europe through Egypt," said Al-Sisi at a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to the official translation in Berlin. "If we can play a role here to mitigate the crisis, then we would do it immediately." Al-Sisi stressed that high energy prices were also a burden for the Egyptian population.
Scholz said he spoke with Al-Sisi about long-term joint projects in the energy sector, about hydrogen and the shift to renewable energies, but also about "exploiting and expanding the diversification options for supplying gas to Europe and Germany in the very short term". .
Meanwhile, Italy has secured further gas supplies from Algeria. "In recent months, Algeria has become the main gas supplier for our country," said Prime Minister Mario Draghi in Algiers after a meeting of ministers from both governments. It was also an opportunity for countries to reaffirm their commitment to stabilization in the Mediterranean. Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune was satisfied with the 15 agreements, including in the areas of renewable energies, construction and the fight against corruption.
Algeria is Italy's most important gas supplier. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, Draghi's government decided to become independent of gas supplies from Moscow. Russia previously pumped 29 billion cubic meters of gas to Italy every year. Algeria has now pledged an additional 4 billion cubic meters of gas to the already agreed 21 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition spoke of an important step.
Algeria supplies gas via the Transmed pipeline, which runs through the Mediterranean Sea to Sicily. Italy also looked for possible gas suppliers in other countries and concluded agreements with the Gulf state of Qatar for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Azerbaijan, among others.