By Sara Rajabova
Daniel Cristian Ciobanu, the Romanian ambassador to Azerbaijan has highlighted Azerbaijan’s role for ensuring Europe’s energy security.
He delivered a speech at the international conference “Geopolitical review of the Caspian: new role for Azerbaijan”, organized in Baku by NATO International School of Azerbaijan on April 29.
Ciobanu underlined that Romania, which has been the second country to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence, is interested in deepening the economic cooperation with Baku through implementation of substantial projects in order to correspond to the excellent level of political relations.
“A project of strategic value is the establishment of a Freight Transport Corridor Black Sea-Caspian Sea, which will open new opportunities for cooperation and more ample trade opportunities for goods from Central Asia and Caucasus to be brought on the European market, in its very heart,” he said.
Drawing attention to Azerbaijan’s important role in increasing European energy security, Ciobanu said Romania has been a consistent advocate and fully supports the development of the gas interconnector Azerbaijan – Georgia – Romania – Hungary (AGRI), which can provide the shortest route between the gas fields in the Caspian Sea and the European market.
Ciobanu further added that intensified political, economic, and energy cooperation among NATO members and partner countries in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea area presents an important strategic interest for the entire Euro-Atlantic community and beyond.
“As a NATO and EU member, Romania is determined to further promote and actively support Azerbaijan’s efforts to enhance its relations with the European and Euro-Atlantic institutions,” he said.
Romania fulfills the mandate of NATO Contact Point Embassy in Azerbaijan for the fourth time in a row.
Azerbaijan and Romania have a long history of relations dating back to the 15th century.
While the two sides enjoy good cooperation in multiple areas, the main focus has been on trade and energy links.
Romania also has been a strong advocate of Azerbaijan's future membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), pointing out the strategic importance of the country for trade and shipping, particularly with a view towards Afghanistan.