Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen attend a signing ceremony in Baku on July 18, 2022. - The European Union and Azerbaijan on July 18, 2022 signed an agreement to double gas imports from the energy-rich Caspian nation to Europe which seeks non-Russian suppliers after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Handout / Azerbaijani presidency / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Azerbaijani presidency / handout" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

In order to free itself from energy supplies from Russia, the EU wants to purchase significantly more gas from the South Caucasus Republic of Azerbaijan in the future. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev signed a declaration of intent in Baku on Monday, according to which the southern gas corridor is to be used to deliver twice as much gas per year within five years as has been the case up to now.

From 2027, at least 20 billion cubic meters should flow annually.

Von der Leyen said in the Azerbaijani capital that the declaration of intent opens “a new chapter in energy cooperation” with Azerbaijan. The authoritarian former Soviet republic, which also has close ties to Russia, is a key partner in moving away from fossil fuels in Russia.

8.1 billion cubic meters are already being delivered annually, and from next year it should be 12 billion. “This will help offset cuts in Russian gas supplies.”

Aliyev stressed that energy security issues are now more important than ever. “Of course, long-term, predictable and very reliable energy cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan is of great value.”

In addition to the gas deliveries, the declaration of intent also provides for closer cooperation on renewable energies. Azerbaijan has “enormous potential” in this area, said von der Leyen, especially in offshore wind energy and green hydrogen. In this way, Azerbaijan will develop from a supplier of fossil fuels to a partner for renewable energy.