Angela Merkel in Baku: Azerbaijan wants to supply more gas to the west

The EU wants to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. Azerbaijan could help. Chancellor Merkel campaigned for closer economic relations in Baku.

Angela Merkel in Baku: Azerbaijan wants to supply more gas to the west

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Azerbaijani President Ilcham Aliyev have stressed importance of Azerbaijan as a supplier of EU's suppliers. The opening of sourn corridor was a good message for EU's energy supply, Merkel said during her visit to Azerbaijani capital Baku. Aliyev signaled willingness to furr expand pipelines.

With gas from Azerbaijan, EU wants to reduce its dependence on Russia, as Merkel explained. It is open wher gas from Turkmenistan can also be delivered to EU via Azerbaijan. To this end, neighbours of Caspian Sea, including Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, would have to give ir approval for construction of a corresponding pipeline through sea. The problem is Russia, which has no interest in competing for its own gas. Azerbaijan's President Aliyev was open to lead Turkmen gas towards EU in future.

During her visit, Merkel made Azerbaijan hope for closer economic relations with Germany. German companies are interested in cooperation in fields of construction and infrastructure, agricultural machinery and agriculture and digitisation. "Whatever Azerbaijan needs, we want to contribute," she said, pointing to 150 German companies in country. Aliyev also spoke out for increased economic relations. Unlike governments of Georgia and Armenia, which Merkel had visited before, Aliyev described relations with EU as sufficiently close.

Mediation in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh

During meeting Merkel also spoke of human rights situation in South Caucasus country. Aliyev said that he wanted to keep talking. Merkel secured efforts of Germany to intensify political solution of conflict with neighbouring country of Armenia around Nagorno-Karabakh region. The region is actually part of Azerbaijan, but it is controlled by prolonged forces.

Previously, Spokesman of Greens group for Eastern Europe policy, Manuel Sarrazin, called on Merkel to address violations of human rights in Azerbaijan. Sarrazin, who accompanied chancellor on her journey, stated that interest in commodities deals should not lead to any discounts on human rights.

The talks in Baku were burdened by refusal of entry for CDU Bundestag deputy Albert Weiler. Weiler had travelled to Nagorno-Karabakh region 2014 and 2016. Merkel decided neverless to travel to Baku. Because Azerbaijan is an important political and economic factor in South Caucasus region, she said.

Date Of Update: 26 August 2018, 12:00

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