President, NATO chief mull European gas supplies, Ukraine

President Ilham Aliyev and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have discussed Azerbaijan’s gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine, Azertag reported on February 15.

“The sides praised the development of Azerbaijan-NATO relations, and exchanged views on the post-conflict situation in the South Caucasus region, the ongoing processes around Ukraine and the current situation in the global energy market,” the report added.

During the phone conversation, the NATO secretary-general thanked Aliyev for his visit to NATO in December 2021, and for his speech at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council – the organization’s supreme governing body.

The head of state thanked for the invitation and the hospitality.

Stoltenberg commended Azerbaijan for being a reliable gas supplier of Europe and for increasing gas exports. Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan would continue to be a reliable partner as an important exporter of energy products, Azertag said.

On his official Twitter page on February 15, the NATO secretary-general said: “Good call with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. We addressed regional security and Russia’s military build-up in and around Ukraine, including implications on energy markets. I thanked Azerbaijan for increasing gas supplies and being a reliable energy supplier to Europe.”

The European Union and Azerbaijan have cooperation in different fields of economy.

A joint statement on energy cooperation with the EU had been signed for more than ten years. The EU-Azerbaijan energy cooperation had reached a new level and is still ongoing within the framework of the Southern Gas Corridor. The EU places a high value on energy supply diversification, and the Southern Gas Corridor is particularly important in this regard. In 2021, European countries purchased 8.2 billion cubic meters of gas, with an increase in volume expected in the coming years.

The 8th ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council, held in Baku on February 4, reaffirmed Azerbaijan and the European Union’s strategic energy partnership, which is based on shared goals for long-term energy security, supply security, and green energy transition.

Azerbaijan prioritizes equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with the European Union. In 2021, Azerbaijan and the EU will have a trade turnover of $15.2 billion. At the same time, from 2012 to 2021, the EU invested more than $21.5 billion in Azerbaijan’s economy.

As part of its economic investment plan, the European Union (EU) has provided Azerbaijan with a €2 billion financial package. Furthermore, the EU stated its readiness to participate in Azerbaijan’s restoration and reconstruction efforts.

The talks between Azerbaijan and the EU on a new agreement, which will serve as the legal framework for relations, are nearing completion.

In February 2008, the European Commission Delegation to Azerbaijan was established in Baku.