Gas: Goodbye Russia, striker Azerbaijan. Who is Europe buying it from now?

Goodbye, Russia. In the Russian gas imports to Europe will amount to 2023 collapse: from 42% of the total in 2021 14% two years later. In Italy we have gone from more than 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to less than 3 billion cubic meters in 2023, the lowest level since 1975. And not only that: Europe is approaching the end of the heating season with one historical record of stored gas reserves. Deposits are 59% full. These conditions could lead to a price drop in the spring, according to several analysts. In short: Europeans will not freeze to death in the second consecutive year of war in Ukraine.

Shall we drink some champagne? Not exactly. We have to take a step back in time, to 2010, and see Al Bano Carrisi intonation Luck in the city of Vankthen part of the Caucasian Republic de facto autonomous from Artsakhto understand who we are here for as a European obliged to replace Moscow. The singer yes Exhibits on a modest stage, with the license plates of abandoned cars as a backdrop. They come from the Azerbaijani population displaced during the first Nagorno-Karabakh War (1992-1994), when the Armenian army occupied the traditionally Armenian-inhabited enclave within Azerbaijan.

Today the Republic of Artsakh, also called the Nagorno-Karabakh region, it does not exist anymoresuppressed last September byAzerbaijan is engaged in a widespread ethnic cleansing operation which led to the expulsion of over 100,000 Armenians, even if they were notables more relevant from that European Commission increased the status of Azerbaijan to “Reliable partner“. Baku supplies weapons to Ukraine and has become a crucial source of energy for Brussels diplomacy. Baku is pursuing a transition to renewable energy sources that is putting reactionary tractors on the road. Yet it remains a repressive regime devoid of freedom of expression, just like President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

An embarrassing ally

The need to diversify from Russian gas and the hectic search for new import partners did that Azerbaijani gas is a diplomatic tool of enormous valuehe writes Francesco SassiResearcher at ISPI (Institute for Expert Studies on Energy and Geopolitical Issues). For Azerbaijan, the freezing of Russian gas in the coming decades is a real blessing that has allowed it to invest in significant cultural lobbying activities, even in Italy, where there is no shortage of intellectuals and publishers who support the reformism of the authoritarian praise Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev.

In this context, Baku has built a relationship increasingly intertwined not just with Italy, the main thing is Trading partner of Azerbaijanbut also with some Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Romania and Hungarywith the aim of diversifying Russian supplies.

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