Azerbaijani Energy Ministry: Armenia interested in maintaining risky environment in Caspian region
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 1
Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov delivered a speech at the 1st Caspian Europe Forum on the topic "The Caspian Region and its Role in the Global Economy" held in Berlin, Germany in the format of a video conference, the Azerbaijani Energy Ministry told Trend on Oct. 1.
In his speech, Shahbazov stressed that the Caspian region will, as before, remain in the circle of geopolitical interests of regional and global forces in the future thanks to the rich energy resources, the location between the main markets that consume energy resources - Europe and Asia.
The minister also stressed Azerbaijan’s exceptional role in transforming the region into an integral part of the world economy.
"The energy resources of the Caspian Sea are supplied to the West only through the pipelines initiated by Azerbaijan,” the minister said. “Since their commissioning, about 515 million tons of oil and more than 86 billion cubic meters of gas have been transported from Azerbaijan through these pipelines.”
“The full commissioning of the Southern Gas Corridor by the end of the year will again make the Caspian region an important factor in diversifying the energy supply of Europe and ensuring energy security through Azerbaijan," Shahbazov said.
Assessing the stability of Europe's energy ties with the Caspian Sea region as a strategic necessity, the minister said that Azerbaijan is a reliable bridge among the Caspian countries and Europe in terms of implementing the important initiatives.
“The share of the Caspian countries in the total trade turnover of Azerbaijan last year amounted to 18 percent, the European Union - about 39 percent,” Shahbazov added. “Azerbaijan also contributes to strengthening the role of the region in the global economy through international transport corridors and infrastructure.”
“Thus, the volume of transit cargo transported in the first half of 2020 was 4.5 times more than in the same period of 2019 via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway while along the East-West route increased by 15 percent, totaling over 3.5 million tons,” the minister said.
“The volume of transit of goods along the North-South International Transport Corridor increased by 13 percent,” Shahbazov said. “In general, transit transportation through Azerbaijan in the non-oil sector increased by 33 percent in the first six months of this year.”
"Armenia’s occupation policy against Azerbaijan poses a great threat to stability and security in the region,” the minister said. “A vivid example is Armenia’s recent military provocations in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, through which the Baku-Supsa, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines, the Southern Gas Corridor, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and other transport and energy routes, connecting the region with the West, are stretching.”
“Armenia once again demonstrated loyalty to its aggressive policy by resorting to a planned military provocation on September 27,” Shahbazov added. “Having stopped the peace talks, Armenia reaffirmed that it persists in its choice of self-isolation from the regional development projects and the desire to preserve a permanent dangerous atmosphere in the region.”
“Azerbaijan thoroughly strives for development, peace, and stability throughout the world, is interested in the sustainability of its achievements and is a supporter of the settlement of the problem by peace and justice,” the minister said. “Thirty years is a long period to realize this fact.”
“However, Armenia did not appreciate the opportunity given to it in the region and the world as a whole,” Shahbazov said. “Armenia’s occupation and aggressive policy are directed not only against Azerbaijan but also against the development and security in the region. Therefore, we must try to stop aggression in the region."