Azerbaijan’s role as energy supplier to Europe


Interview with Lithuanian President: Azerbaijan’s role as energy supplier to Europe is growing. Trend’s interview of the President of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus on the threshold of Azerbaijani President’s official visit to Vilnius.

What is your appraisal regarding the current level of relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania? What are the major priorities in the bilateral relations between Lithuania and Azerbaijan?

Indeed, we may note with satisfaction a very active and successful development of relations between Lithuania and Azerbaijan in the recent years. Historical ties between our two nations have existed over centuries. We have strong social and cultural links and the Lithuanian and Azeri nations have always shared a good-fellowship feeling, all of which creates excellent pre-conditions for the development of bilateral relations.

We strongly support Azerbaijan’s European orientation and the institutionalization of Azerbaijan’s relations with the EU and NATO through the ENP Action Plan and NATO I-PAP. Lithuania aims to actively contribute to such cooperation with European and Euro-Atlantic structures by sharing its reform and integration experience. This year our two countries have consolidated their diplomatic representation: Lithuania has opened its embassy in Baku and appointed its ambassador to your country. The ambassador of Azerbaijan to Lithuania has also presented her credentials.

What urgent issues will be considered during the Azerbaijani President’s upcoming visit to Lithuania?

I still remember the very warm and friendly atmosphere of my visit to Azerbaijan last June when we established an open and constructive dialogue with the president of your country. It will be a great pleasure and honor to meet Mr. Aliev in Vilnius this September. I am sure that this historical visit – as it is the first visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Lithuania – will serve as yet another opportunity for discussing the concrete elements of our bilateral cooperation, which has already gained rapid acceleration.

I hope that during Mr Aliev’s visit to Lithuania we will reflect on all major issues of common interest, including bilateral and regional cooperation, and we will find ways to coordinate our efforts and activities in particular fields, such as energy security and EU and NATO integration. Azerbaijan’s role as energy supplier to Europe is growing and we hope to advance the idea of broader regional co-operation in the field of energy. A new impetus for economic cooperation between our two countries could also be an important result of this visit since a business forum is planned in addition to official meetings. Business people from both sides have expressed huge interest to participate in this forum.

What role could Azerbaijan take in the expansion of an oil transport corridor from the Caspian to the Baltic Sea? Is Lithuania prepared to provide the Caspian littoral countries with the necessary conditions for oil transport to the Baltic Sea?

The European Union is interested in buying natural gas and oil directly from energy producers in the Caspian region. We know that all major oil and gas pipelines from this region traverse Russia’s territory. We believe that ensuring free transit would be a very positive step made by Russia. It would also be an expression of fair and sincere partnership. At the same time we need to develop new energy-supply infrastructure projects which would allow direct imports of oil and gas extracted in the Caspian region. In this perspective, the Trans-Caspian energy projects aimed at gas and oil transportation would be of immense value. They would strengthen European energy security and boost the international geo-energy status of the Caspian Sea region.

After the Krakow Summit, an intergovernmental working group was established to include representatives of Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan for the implementation of the Odessa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk project. A feasibility study to analyze technical and economic options for extending the Odessa-Brody pipeline to the Polish seaport of Gdansk should be completed by the end of this year. We will seek to develop this project into a project of European interest and to implement it as soon as possible. (Read more)

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