Serbia-Azerbaijan co-op becoming strategy-wise, owing to excellent personal relations between President Ilham Aliyev and President Aleksandar Vucic - Dubravka Djedovic (Interview)

Politics Materials 4 February 2023 08:04 (UTC +04:00)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.4. The cooperation between Serbia and Azerbaijan is becoming increasingly important strategy-wise, primarily owing to the excellent personal relations between President Ilham Aliyev and President Aleksandar Vucic, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Serbia, Dubravka Djedovic said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

“A further, important demonstration of such relations is particularly the progress of energy cooperation,” the minister added.

Djedovic went on to add that in addition to holding intensive talks on cooperation in the gas sector, Serbia has also expressed interest in securing additional amounts of electricity from Azerbaijan, whereby the costs of power transmission are analysed in order to reach a solution that is cost- efficient, in addition to being important in terms of energy.

“The plans to import electricity of the Serbia's neighbouring countries, such as Hungary and Romania, also represent an additional boost to our plans to develop the transmission network and regional connectivity in the energy sector,” she said.

Dubravka Djedovic noted that Serbia and Azerbaijan will continue discussions on gas supplies, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Serbia.

“I expect that during the visit to Baku, in addition to the topics that will be discussed at the Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council, we will continue discussions on the volumes of gas that can be supplied from Azerbaijan to Serbia once the construction of the Serbia-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector has been completed, but also on other topics that we raised during the visit of the President of Serbia to Azerbaijan at the end of last year, such as the possibility of building gas power plants,” she said.

Serbia will cover one third of demand with Azerbaijani gas, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Serbia, Dubravka Djedovic said.

“Serbia is making intensive efforts to diversify the sources of natural gas supply, which is a condition for ensuring our energy security, independence and getting the opportunity to obtain larger volumes of gas. Following the completion of the construction of Serbia-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector, it will be possible to meet about one third of Serbia's gas needs with gas supplied from Azerbaijan, which will become one of our key energy partners,” she added.

Djedovic noted that the works on the Serbia-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector began in February 2022, and completion of these works is planned for the end of this year.

“By this interconnection, with a capacity of 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas, Serbia will be connected to gas sources that are reaching Greece, including from the gas fields in the Caspian region and the LNG terminal in Alexandropoulos,” the minister explained.

Djedovic pointed out that Serbia may become a transit country for Azerbaijani gas.

She noted that Azerbaijani gas has already been recognized as a part of the solution for diversifying the sources of gas supply in Europe, but this also applies to Serbia and our entire region.

“Diversification of suppliers is important primarily for achieving the greater energy security for Serbia, however the construction of gas interconnectors towards other neighbouring countries opens up the opportunities for Serbia to become a transit country for Azerbaijani gas to reach other countries in the region and the EU,” added Djedovic.

Dubravka Djedovic went on to add that Serbia expects to discuss potential renewable energy projects with Azerbaijan.

“Increasing the share of renewable energy sources (RES) in the energy mix is a reality for all countries which are undergoing the process of energy transition. At the same time, this opens up opportunities for further expansion of cooperation between Serbia and Azerbaijan, which is, however, already at a high level in the energy sector,” she said.

Dubravka Djedovic noted that Serbia is currently working on the preparation of strategic documents which are to identify its targets regarding the share of RES in the energy mix and the reduction of harmful gas emissions in the coming decades.

“We are also working intensively on the improvement of legislation in order to enable an increase in the electricity generation capacities from renewable energy sources, as well as their sustainable integration into the power system. Auctions are planned for around 400 megawatts from wind energy, and an auction plan is being prepared for the construction of at least 1,000 megawatts of new capacities from RES in the next few years. In addition, the priority is the construction of transmission systems to the neighbouring countries, by projects such as the Trans-Balkan Corridor, which, in addition to higher security of supply, is also important because it facilitates easier integration of RES and the development of the electricity market in the region,” the minister explained.

Djedovic pointed out that since Serbia and Azerbaijan have already signed a Cooperation Agreement between the two governments in the field of energy and mining, she expects to discuss new opportunities for cooperation and potential projects in the field of RES.


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