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Baku optimistic about dev't of strategic partnership with Sofia [PHOTO]

28 April 2022 16:00 (UTC+04:00)
Baku optimistic about dev't of strategic partnership with Sofia [PHOTO]

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has praised the development of a strategic partnership between Baku and Sofia, which is based on mutual interests and international law.

He made the remarks during a meeting with a delegation led by Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasil Georgiev on April 28.

He stated that bilateral political dialogue and high-level mutual contacts contribute to the development of Azerbaijan-Bulgaria relations.

Furthermore, the Azerbaijani minister stated that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic relations and that joint efforts will be made to further expand ties in various directions.

Bayramov thanked Bulgaria for creating the necessary conditions for Azerbaijani citizens to travel through Bulgarian territory in connection with the situation in Ukraine.

Georgiev, for his part, emphasized the productivity of his visit to Azerbaijan and a rich work program, which included a round of political consultations and bilateral meetings.

He stated that Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have very good political relations and that economic, energy, transportation, humanitarian, and cultural ties are flourishing.

Georgiev added that Bulgarian Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska invited her Azerbaijani counterpart to visit Sofia, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported.

During the meeting, cooperation between two countries within the framework of international organizations, also the situation in Ukraine and other regional issues were discussed.

Bulgaria and Azerbaijan are both members of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

The strategic partnership agreement, signed in 2015, opened up new opportunities for cooperation. The two countries also cooperate within the intergovernmental commission on cooperation established in 1999.

Azerbaijan and Bulgaria agreed to supply 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year through the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector beginning in 2021. However, because the IGB is still under construction, Azerbaijani gas is delivered to Bulgaria via the Kulata-Sidirokastro interconnection point. Currently, the country receives only one-third of this volume.

The IGB Project (Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) is being carried out by the joint venture company ICGB AD, which was established in Bulgaria in 2011 and is owned by Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD and IGI Poseidon.

The IGB gas pipeline will connect to the Greek national gas transmission system in Komotini and the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in Stara Zagora. The pipeline's planned length is 182 kilometers, with a capacity of up to 3 billion cubic meters per year in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria. The pipeline is designed to increase its capacity up to 5 bcm/y depending on market interest and the capacities of neighboring gas transmission systems.

A cooperation memorandum has been signed between ICGB AD and TAP AG regarding joint actions in relation to the future connection of the IGB pipeline and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.

The IGB project is critical in terms of increasing supply security and diversifying gas supplies for Bulgaria and the SEE region.

It should be noted that nowadays, Azerbaijan has become an important player in ensuring Europe’s energy security. With the completion of the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) construction on December 31, 2020, Azerbaijan began commercial gas supplies to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor. Last year, TAP transported 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. By late 2022, Azerbaijan plans to increase gas supplies to Europe to 9.1 billion cubic meters, and in 2023 the volume of gas supplies is expected to reach 11 billion cubic meters.

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