Energy chessmate - Azerbaijan's turn
Adelina Marini, 29 April 2009
In the midst of a series of energy forums this spring, an interesting visit is the one of the president of Azerbaijan to Brussels today and yesterday where he met the president of the Commission Jose Manuel Durao Baroso. Both have discussed the new European initiative "Eastern partnership" which will be officially presented in Prague on the 7th and 8th of May. Energy, also, has been the basic element of their discussions.
Azerbaijan is very rich of natural gas and is one of the potential suppliers of gas to the "Nabucco" project. The EU has been trying for a long time to draw the former Soviet republic to a closer cooperation but the influence Russia has in the region is very strong. In the last year though there's a significant emancipation of former Soviet republics from Moscow. One of the reasons for this is that those countries are in desperate need of investments in modernising their energy infrastructure because it is their main source of financing. The financial and economic crisis additionally increases the role of the EU and the US.
Later today it is expected Ilham Aliyev to meet the EU High representative Javier Solana.