With the deepening energy crisis in the West triggered by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, more European countries, mainly Eastern European and Balkan countries, including Bulgaria and Serbia, are eyeing alternative suppliers for additional natural gas volumes. The security cataclysms in Europe in the light of the war have pushed European countries to seek partners such as Azerbaijan.
Since 2022, Azerbaijan has held several high-level meetings with EU officials regarding exporting additional gas volumes to Europe. It is noteworthy that non-EU countries like Serbia are also keen on deepening energy partnerships with Azerbaijan. Serbia’s willingness to acquire more Azeri gas depends on the construction progress of the EU-supported Serbia-Bulgaria gas interconnector – a 171 km natural gas interconnector that will connect Nis (Serbia) and Sofia (Bulgaria), thus supporting regional energy security. According to reports, the interconnector may become operational in early 2023, giving Serbia and Bulgaria a non-Russian gas supply option. Obviously, Serbia is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas, which have been disrupted following the Ukraine war and the imposition of sanctions on Moscow by the European Union, which Serbia is seeking to join. Continue reading