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Eastern Express 09.11

Azerbaijan is planning on increasing its gas and electricity supplies via Georgian territory and the Black Sea to Europe. Europe, following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, is now looking to become less dependent on Russian hydrocarbon supplies. Will Azerbaijan become a key source of energy resources?

The change in the balance of power in the South Caucasus and the emancipation of this region from Russian influence has gained momentum after the onset of the full-scale aggression against Ukraine, also keeping in mind the number of defeats suffered by Moscow in this war. In consequence, the emancipation from the Russian influence of both the Turkic-speaking states of Central Asia and the South Caucasus is gathering speed.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s influence in both these regions as well as in the Black Sea region has been growing. Turkey and Azerbaijan have been bound by a formal military alliance since June 2021, which was seen in action during the 2022 Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

All this means strengthening Azerbaijan’s position – a key transit country, an independent producer of oil and natural gas increasingly being transported to Europe, and replacing the need for Russian gas there. As an interconnector linking Turkey’s gas system to that of Bulgaria, which up to now had been entirely dependent on Russian gas supplies, Azerbaijan has become operational as such since late September 2022.

The Southern Corridor leading from Central Asia through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to Europe is now becoming a meaningful alternative for the supply of energy resources from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to Europe in view of the need to eliminate dependence on Russian resources.

According to Azerbaijan’s president, the country is expected to double the supply of pipeline gas to the EU to 20 billion cubic metres per year over the next five years. It will also increase the supply of its oil. This increase will be crucial for Europe, which has consistently been moving away from reliance on Russian energy resources.

Eastern Express’ guest

TVP World invited Magdalena Maj, Climate and Energy team leader at the Polish Economic Institute, to shed more light on the issue.

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