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Azerbaijani minister: Key objective to export gas to Europe

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 18
Yesterday Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natik Aliyev said Baku intends to “primarily pump gas to Europe,” according to Azerbaijani news agency Today.Az.

The announcement comes after an official from Russia’s Gazprom visited Baku earlier this month to pitch a long-term offer to buy Azerbaijani gas at “market prices.” This was seen by some commentators as an attempt by Moscow to stymie Europe’s trans-Caspian pipeline plans, including the Nabucco project, which aims to take Central Asian gas to Europe.

“Directing gas flow routes towards Europe will enable Azerbaijan to reach several goals, such as European integration, [and] progress towards the EU,” the news agency Today.Az quoted Aliyev as saying yesterday.

Speaking the same day on a separate issue, the energy minister said that negotiations have been held on linking the power grids of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Turkey and Russia.

“At the moment we are working on a plan with Iran to set up a joint power grid. It would involve Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, [Azerbaijani exclave] Nakhchivan and Georgia. This, I believe, would be very important for our countries,” he said according to Azerbaijani television channel ANS.

“If this joint grid is set up, we would have better opportunity to deliver electricity to Europe,” he added.