UK Energy Minister Speaks On Counteracting Russia In South Energy Corridor

Europe and the West in general will counteract Russia’s attempts to block or interfere with the functioning of the Southern Energy Corridor. This in an interview with journalists in Baku said UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan.

“As you know, Russia has already undergone sanctions because of their actions in Ukraine and these sanctions can be expanded. These sanctions were very clear for Moscow to understand that any further steps to escalate the situation in Eastern Ukraine will lead to new sanctions,” said the British minister.

“It is in order to reduce dependence on a partner wants to reduce Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. Therefore we are looking for alternative sources and alternative supply routes,” said the minister.

In Baku Fallon will spend two days and will meet with President Aliyev, as well as ministers of energy, communications, finance, leadership and SOCAR with different business structures.

“The purpose of my visit is further strengthening of our bilateral relations, which are at a very good level. However, we want to further development and participation in new oil and gas projects.

At the same time, we do not want to limit cooperation only oil and gas sector.

The talk is on cooperation in the field of infrastructure, finance, production of non-traditional energy, new technologies. A significant number of British companies are willing to work in these areas. Currently working in Azerbaijan for up to 300 of our companies, but there may be more,” said Fallon.

Responding to Turan’s question about the possibility of Iran’s participation in projects for the supply of energy in Europe via Azerbaijan, the British minister said that the situation in Iran has improved after Tehran softened its nuclear program. “Iran has not yet implemented all obligations in this area, and we hope that this will happen.”

The Minister further indicated that London has decided to open an embassy in Iran, and if the processes will continue in a positive way, then Iran’s participation in the projects of gas supply can become a reality.

Asked about the prospects for the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Michael Fallon said that this issue should be discussed by the two countries – Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. “Both countries agreed to build it. As for us, we, the Europeans are interested in the energy supply routes that were as much as possible and as diverse as possible.

Therefore, we will provide strategic and political support for this project. We see the leading role of Azerbaijan in the entire project of the Southern Energy Corridor, which helps us to be less dependent on Russian gas,” said the minister.

Answering the question of how British companies solve the problem of corruption in Azerbaijan, the minister said that the day before he talked with representatives of companies. “Bureaucracy exists throughout the world and with such things business faces around the world, but I was not complained about corruption. As for the small bureaucracy, we will deal with them, conversing with your ministers,” said in the conclusion Michael Fallon.

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