“Azerbaijan is very important for the EU’s plan to diversify its energy supplies, especially natural gas”, Andreas Heinrich, a researcher at the University of Bremen’s Centre for East European Studies said.
"Azerbaijan would not only provide the EU with new energy supplies but also with new supply routes, maybe even for suppliers further afield", he said.
Meanwhile, the analyst doesn’t believe that the Nabucco project has a chance "if Central Asian partners, especially Turkmenistan refuse to join the project". "There would not be sufficient sources of natural gas".
Speaking about the regional energy competition and Azerbaijan’s balanced policy, Mr. Heinrich reminds, at the moment, Baku exports only small amounts of gas to Russia.
"This does not pose a threat to the Nabucco project. I consider this export agreement more as a fall-back option for Azerbaijan and to demonstrate the EU that Azerbaijan has other options to export its gas and cannot take for granted as a supplier for the Nabucco project. However, if the relations with the EU turn sour exports to Russia might increase", he said. /APA/