Azerbaijan is the key to Europe’s energy security

Since the war erupted in the Ukraine, Europe faced a grave energy crisis.   Prior to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, Russia was Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas.  In 2021, the European Union imported 155 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, which amounted to approximately 45% of the gas utilized in Europe.  

However, when Russia cut off their supplies to Europe as punishment for the West backing Ukraine, prices soared out of control and there were grave concerns how Europe would supply without Russian gas.   Fortunately, Azerbaijan has to a large extent been able to fill the void left by the absence of Russian gas, thus enabling Europe to make it through this past bitter cold winter and hopefully also this upcoming summer.

There was recently a round table discussion on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, which discussed how Azerbaijan can greatly contribute towards Europe’s energy security.   At this conference, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev stated: “Azerbaijan`s gas supply last year was a short-term contribution to Europe’s energy security.”   The Azerbaijani head of state added that he hopes that the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor as proposed by Azerbaijan can thus help to greatly enhance Europe’s energy security. 

By the year 2027, the State of Azerbaijan plans to increase its gas transportation through TAP from the current 11 billion cubic meters to 20 billion cubic meters and via TANAP from 16 billion cubic meters to 31 billion cubic meters.  According to a press release put out by Azerbaijan’s Presidential Office, “Recalling that a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Partnership in the field of energy was signed last year between Azerbaijan and the European Union with the participation of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Beyen, the head of state stressed that cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union in the field of energy would continue to expand in line with this document.”

In 2021, Azerbaijan supplied Europe with 19 billion cubic meters of gas.  The export increased to 22.6 billion cubic meters in 2022 and is expected to reach 24.5 billion cubic meters in 2023.  At the conference, it was highlighted that Azerbaijan plans to send to Europe not only gas but also renewable energy sources, thus helping to highlight how Azerbaijan in the future can be a great contributor towards promoting green energy worldwide.

For this reason, it is of utmost importance that Europe appreciate the State of Azerbaijan, as they remain the key for them having heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer in the absence of Russian gas.   The EU uses natural gas for roughly 25% of its overall energy needs, and around 80% of that gas is imported. Since Russia was the number one supplier of Europe’s natural gas, the Ukraine war sabotaged all of Europe’s energy security.    However, a grave crisis with great black-outs in the middle of an especially cold winter was able to be averted thanks to Azerbaijan and other natural gas suppliers increasing their supplies to the European Union.

Europe should know that unlike Russia, Azerbaijan is a reliable partner.   Azerbaijan will never start a war in the middle of Europe.   Azerbaijan is allied with Europe and the West against the Islamic Republic of Iran and other radical forces in the region.  Azerbaijan is a modern secular multicultural state, which seeks to attract foreign investors.  Therefore, they will do everything to make foreign investors in Azerbaijan content and happy.  For this reason, Azerbaijan serves as a great solution to Europe’s energy crisis, thus providing energy security to the whole continent, thus ensuring that what happened in Europe in the absence of Russian gas will never be repeated.

Ayoob Kara
Ayoob Kara
Ayoob Kara served as Israel’s Minister of Communications.