Azerbaijani Ambassador visits the Energy Community Secretariat
Yesterday H.E. Mr. Galib ISRAFILOV, Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan to Austria, paid official visit to the Secretariat. He was accompanied by Mr. Shamil ALESKEROV, Counsellor of the Embassy, and Mr. Gulmirza Fahreddin oglu JAVADOV, who is the Director of the SOCAR (State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic) Representative Office in Vienna. Following his recent accreditation, this was Ambassador Israfilov’s first visit to the Energy Community Secretariat.
In its presentation, the Secretariat recalled the excellent communication with the Azerbaijani authorities so far, and outlined the legal framework, the Energy Community Gas Ring concept and the ongoing infrastructure projects, focusing on gas. Both parties noted their understanding that when discussing South East European gas demand and supply, the region should be considered in its integrity.
Ambassador ISRAFILOV noted that whilst there is a clear will to support the South Corridor initiative for diversifying European gas supplies. The agreement must also reflect the buyers’ needs and commitments concerning gas deliveries.
On behalf of SOCAR, Mr. JAVADOV underlined that Azerbaijan together with the shareholders of Shah Deniz Consortium will take a decision regarding any gas pipeline project purely based on its commercial interests. He also confirmed the Azerbaijani interest in supporting Southern Gas Corridor Concept, including supplying gas to South East Europe.
Director Slavtcho NEYKOV invited the Azerbaijani companies to take part in the diverse Energy Community Fora, envisaged for business participation. To this end, Ambassador ISRAFILOV noted that Azerbaijan prefers at this stage to pursue bilateral energy cooperation rather than getting formally involved into the Energy Community. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan continues its interest in information sharing and exchange of best practices – in this aspect, both sides made reference to INOGATE and Eastern Partnership projects, which cooperate with the Energy Community and in which Azerbaijan is involved.