Azerbaijan becomes a strategic partner of Romania and the EU

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By RBJ
The Romanian press agency Agerpres reports that President Klaus Iohannis is making, on Thursday and Friday, his first official visit to Azerbaijan, at the invitation of President Ilham Aliyev.
The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, stated that he agreed with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, to develop bilateral cooperation in areas such as energy, trade, transport, investments, digitization, agriculture, education and culture, and announced that the companies Romgaz and Socar will sign, on Friday, a new contract for the delivery of Azerbaijani natural gas to Romania for the period April 1, 2023-April 1, 2024.
“Today, we reiterated Romania’s openness and interest in deepening the Strategic Partnership between our countries, as well as in the development of strategic projects with regional impact. We agreed to support the development of bilateral cooperation in areas such as energy, trade, transport, investments, digitization, agriculture , very important – education and culture. I thanked Mr. President Ilham Aliyev for the start by Azerbaijan of the export of additional gas to Romania, from January 1, 2023”, said the head of state, on Thursday, after the meeting with the Azerbaijani counterpart.
He emphasized that both the Southern Gas Corridor and the future submarine cable for transporting electricity produced in Azerbaijan from renewable sources, projects supported by the European Commission as well, will contribute significantly to ensuring the energy security of the European Union.
The two presidents also agreed on the further development of other projects with regional impact, such as those in the digital field.
“Romania and Azerbaijan will continue to work to expand cooperation and strategic initiatives between Europe, the South Caucasus, but also Central Asia. As we discussed in Bucharest, the two countries ensure and will develop the connection between Europe and the South Caucasus”, said President Iohannis.
According to the head of the Romanian state, the South Caucasus is a region of strategic importance for Romania and for the European Union. He recalled that Azerbaijan is the first country in the South Caucasus region with which Romania raised relations to the level of Strategic Partnership, in 2009.
“… we appreciated Azerbaijan’s conduct regarding regional energy security. Thus, regional cooperation and the diversification of sources and transport routes are also key principles underlying projects such as the Southern Gas Corridor. We rely on reliable partners such as Azerbaijan for the advancement of such solutions”, added President Iohannis.
The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, said on Thursday that by signing a new contract between Romgaz and Socar for the delivery of natural gas, all opportunities in Romania will be used to export Azerbaijani gas to other European markets.
“We are entering a new phase. Last month, in Bucharest, an agreement was signed to deliver Azeri gas to Romania. We will also address other European markets through you and we will use all these opportunities from Romania to export gas from Azerbaijan and beyond,” said the Azerbaijani president.
The President of Azerbaijan recalled that two years ago the last segment of the Southern Gas Corridor was put into operation and that last year the Strategic Partnership with the EU regarding natural gas was signed.
“We will increase export volumes, this is our priority,” the Azerbaijani president also declared.
On Friday, the President of Romania will open, together with his Azerbaijani counterpart, the Ministerial Meeting of the Consultative Council of the Southern Gas Corridor, in which the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, will also participate.
On December 16, 2022, the National Natural Gas Company Romgaz and Socar Trading, the subsidiary of the national oil company of the Republic of Azerbaijan, signed the first individual contract for the delivery of Azerbaijani natural gas to Romania. The individual contract allows planned deliveries of natural gas starting from January 1, through the Southern Corridor, using the transport capacities of the TAP, IGB pipelines, as well as the transport systems of Bulgaria and Romania.

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