Sophia. April 25, 2023

Sophia. April 25, 2023

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico met at the presidential residence in Zugulba on Monday to discuss cooperation in the natural gas sector, as part of the Slovak Prime Minister's official visit to Azerbaijan. This meeting underscores the strategic shifts occurring as Europe seeks to diversify its energy sources away from Russian gas.

Azerbaijan, a key player in the diversification strategy, has been ramping up its natural gas exports to Europe, increasing its shipments from 8 billion cubic meters in 2021 to 11.8 billion cubic meters in 2023. Under a Memorandum with the European Union, Azerbaijan aims to boost its gas supplies to Europe to 20 billion cubic meters by 2027.

Slovakia's efforts to reduce its reliance on Russian gas were highlighted in a recent regional initiative. On April 25, 2023, a "Memorandum of Understanding on the promotion of cooperation between Bulgartransgaz (Bulgaria), Transgaz (Romania), FGSZ (Hungary), Eustream (Slovakia) and the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR)" was signed in Sofia. The ceremony was attended by President Aliyev and his Bulgarian counterpart, Rumen Radev.

The Memorandum was inked by energy leaders from the participating countries, marking a significant step towards creating a new corridor for natural gas imports to Europe from Azerbaijan. Slovak Minister of Energy Karel Girman emphasized the political significance of this agreement, noting it as a commitment to creating new import corridors and enhancing cooperation with Azerbaijan and SOCAR.

Minister Girman reflected on the historical context of Azerbaijan's energy projects post-Soviet Union, lauding the late President Heydar Aliyev's role in the monumental oil and gas initiatives that have positioned Azerbaijan as a dependable energy supplier.

In an effort to further reduce dependency on Russian gas, Slovakia signed a contract in May 2022 for Norwegian natural gas supplies, which are expected to cover approximately 32% of its annual consumption. Meanwhile, Gazprom continues to supply Europe through Slovakia, with significant volumes directed towards Austria and Italy.

The ongoing cooperation extends to Ukrainian transit as well, with Slovakia and Ukraine agreeing preliminarily in January 2024 to continue the transit of Russian gas to EU countries through Ukrainian territory into 2025.

This bilateral dialogue between Azerbaijan and Slovakia not only reflects the ongoing shifts in energy supply chains but also signals a strengthening partnership that could influence energy dynamics across Central and Eastern Europe.

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İran Prezidentinin həlak olduğu hadisə Azərbaycan- İran münasibətlərinə təsir edə bilərmi? – Nəsimi Məmmədli Çətin sualda

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