Plevneliev: Southern Gas Corridor Will Boost Europe’s Energy Security
Finding alternative gas suppliers and routes has become a matter of national security and key priority for Europe, Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev has said in Azerbaijan.
Speaking during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Southern Gas Corridor on Saturday, Plevneliev said the launch of the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe will help Bulgaria and Europe as a whole to diversify their gas supplies.
A gas price dispute between Moscow and Kiev in 2009 prompted a cut in Russian gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine.
Referring to the gas crisis of 2009, Plevneliev said it reminded Europe of its biggest vulnerability – its energy dependence. Bulgaria was one of the worst hit countries during the crisis, he added.
On Friday, Plevneliev started a two-day working visit to Azerbaijan where he held a one-to-one meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev. The two heads of state stressed the importance of laying the foundation for the Southern Gas Corridor in Azerbaijan in terms of international cooperation.
Plevneliev and Aliev signed a joint statement in which they highlighted the importance of last year's contract, under which Azerbaijan will supply Bulgaria with up to 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Shah Deniz field for a period of 25 years, starting in 2020.
“Bulgaria has confirmed its readiness and intention to gradually increase the volumes of natural gas imports from Azerbaijan,” the statement said.
In their meeting Ilham Aliyev and Rosen Plevneliev expressed their satisfaction with the successful development of bilateral relations in political, economic and other areas, Baku-based Trend news agency reported. The two presidents said there are good prospects for the further expansion of bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries.
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