CEE countries ask EU to fund Azeri gas pipelinesReading Time: < 1 minutes
Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia have jointly requested EU funding to develop the necessary infrastructure to support increased gas supplies from Azerbaijan.
The countries say they recognize the importance of energy security for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and see the potential for Azerbaijan to play a crucial role in meeting this need.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Azeri Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, in Budapest on Tuesday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said: “if Europe cannot acquire new energy sources, if it cannot build new energy transport routes, then the energy supply will not be secure. It is in the interest of our country to be able to include Azeri resources in the supply as soon as possible, but this requires serious infrastructural developments.”
The four CEE countries have now urged the European Commission to provide financial support for the development of regional infrastructure that would be necessary to receive the increased volume of Azerbaijani gas via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said last week that Azerbaijan’s gas exports to Europe would increase to at least 20bn cubic metres by 2027, a significant increase from the current levels, at the annual meeting of global political and corporate leaders in Davos on 19 January.
This would mean building new capacity and expanding existing interconnectors to ensure that the region is fully equipped to handle the increased supply of gas.
Szijjarto expressed support for Azerbaijan’s plans, stating that “we welcome and respect Azerbaijan’s ambition by 2027 to double the capacity of the pipelines through which it can deliver gas here, to Europe.”