Azerbaijan, Serbia set to further cement relations for long-term strategic partnership
Azerbaijan and Serbia are strategic partners and their cooperation has already had a long history. Several documents on strategic partnerships have been signed between the two nations far away geographically. Both Azerbaijan and Serbia advocate international law and always support each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, Azernews reports.
Considering the strategic partnership between the two nations, it is worth noting that there are great opportunities for boosting already existing cooperation. Bilateral visits of President Ilham Aliyev to Serbia and President Aleksandar Vucic to Azerbaijan are indications of the dynamism in the bilateral relations.
“I am sure that the implementation of the agreements reached will lead to an increase in the volume of trade. It is not at the desired level yet. There is great potential in the field of transport and logistics, especially if we take into account that international transport corridors pass through the territories of Azerbaijan and Serbia, and our relevant institutions should work hard to create alignments and connections” Ilham Aliyev said while making press statements with Aleksandar Vucic, during the latter visit to Baku on December 21.
There are also ample opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in both the natural gas and electricity sectors.
Nowadays, Azerbaijan plays a significant role in ensuring Europe’s energy security. With the completion of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Azerbaijan started commercial gas supplies to Europe on December 31, 2020.
Starting from around September 2023 Serbia is also going to be one of the countries in Europe receiving Azerbaijani gas. Thus, Serbia expects to cover 40 percent of its gas needs with Azerbaijani gas, supplied via the gas pipeline that will connect Serbia with Bulgaria.
The Bulgaria-Serbia Interconnection will have a capacity of 1 to 1.8 billion cubic meters per year from Bulgaria to Serbia and 0.15 billion cubic meters per year from Serbia to Bulgaria. the project will provide a new supply route from Bulgaria to Serbia, as well as to other parts of the South-East European region, enabling access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Greece, Azeri gas from the Southern Gas Corridor, and gas from Black Sea offshore production. Construction of the pipeline started in February 2022, with the originally planned 2022 completion date delayed to the fourth quarter of 2023.
At the same time, Azerbaijan and Serbia are negotiating relevant electricity sector negotiations. Serbia's state electricity company EPS had previously agreed with Azerbaijan to purchase 2,600 MWh of electricity.
“I am sure that tangible steps will be taken to export Azerbaijan’s electricity to Serbia starting next year,” Ilham Aliyev said.
Recently, a corresponding agreement was signed on the delivery of Azerbaijan’s electricity to Europe via a submarine cable along the Black Sea bed. This refers to the power transmission line that will be laid under the Black Sea from Georgia to Romania, which will carry green energy from Azerbaijan to European customers.
“The cable that will be extended under the Black Sea will further highlight the fact that Azerbaijan is an important supplier for Europe in this field too. All this ushers ample opportunities and opens new horizons, and we will cooperate in this area, of course, in bilateral and multilateral formats,” Ilham Aliyev said.
"In short, when we look at our bilateral relations again, we see that our relations in all fields are based on friendship and mutual understanding. I am sure that we will spend the next year in this atmosphere too. Because this year has been very successful for our bilateral relations," the president concluded.
The Serbian president also posted a publication on his Facebook page following his visit to Azerbaijan.
“Thanks to Ilham Aliyev for hospitality and to the people of Azerbaijan for sincere friendship with Serbia. Every time I come to Baku, I see huge and incredible progress, which is an indicator of the strength of the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. As sincere friends of Azerbaijan, we are happy about this,” he wrote.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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