BAKU, Azerbaijan, The EU highly values its energy partnership with Azerbaijan, Tengiz Pkhaladze, a non-resident senior fellow at the European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE), told Trend.
“About 5 or even 10 years ago many had been delivering the message that Azerbaijan has all the capabilities [to deliver more gas], and that Europe should pay more attention to the energy partnership with the country, to the Caspian region and its gas potential, and develop it all together with Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, Europe has been somewhat neglecting those opportunities, and the priorities were given to other projects. Today, I think, everyone in Europe regrets it. But it is better late than never,” he said.
According to Pkhaladze, today the cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan in the energy sector does not only gain political support but is also reflected in practical business initiatives.
“But I don’t think that whole responsibility should fall on the shoulders of one party. Yes, Azerbaijan has all the capacities, but it also needs alike reliable partners from the EU countries. Azerbaijan should deliver, and the EU should make the biggest financial pledge in this regard,” Pkhaladze added.
Although, as the expert pointed out, the interest in Azerbaijani gas should not be divided by countries.
“This should be the interest of the whole of Europe. First of all, the European Commission should express its will to increase energy cooperation with Azerbaijan further. This will be the right sign for the private companies across the world, for the UK and the US companies as well,” he explained.
Regarding the recent launch of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) Pkhaladze noted that it is an essential and important project for Europe today, as the region suffers from Russia’s supply cuts.
“This is a great example for other countries and investors to follow and use this capability, and think about how to widen this capability. Azerbaijan surely has the capacity, but, as I already said, all the financial burden should not be placed on the country alone. The interest is already there, and, eventually, it will grow and transform into active business initiatives,” he said.
Further speaking, ECIPE senior fellow noted that Azerbaijan’s potential in exporting electricity, as well as electricity generated from renewables, is huge and it is in fact possible to launch it soon.
“Everything is possible if EU extends its connectivity project. This means expanding critical infrastructure, such as electricity. The EU should boost new processes and initiatives for connectivity. Those are already developed from the EU to Georgia, and then to Azerbaijan. Today new types of infrastructure should be developed,” he explained.
“It is worth mentioning that Azerbaijan made an outstanding impression at the first European Political Community Summit in Prague. The remarks that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has made demonstrate the country’s willingness to contribute to development and stability. Besides the significant progress that has been achieved in regard to the peace treaty with Armenia, Azerbaijan has also demonstrated itself as not just a reliable energy supplier, but also as a country that really cares about the stability in the world,” the expert concluded.
Source: TREND News Agency