Participation of the PABSEC International Secretariat in the “Energy security in Europe: Current situation, challenges and future opportunities” Round-table Discussion, Athens, 27 June 2022
Mr. Miltiadis Makrygiannis, PABSEC Deputy Secretary General participated in the Round-table discussion titled “Energy security in Europe: Current situation, challenges and future opportunities” that took place on 27 June 2022 in Athens.
This hybrid event was organized jointly by the International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) and the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center) of Azerbaijan.
Among the panelists were, Amb. Anar HUSEYNOV, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Noshrevan LOMTATIDZE, Director of the Department for International Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Dr. Marco RICCERI, Secretary General of the EURISPES Institute, Italy, Mr. Fokion ZAIMIS, Deputy Governor of Entrepreneurship, Research and Innovation, Region of Western Greece, Dr. Shahmar HAJIYEV, Senior advisor at the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center), Dr. George KYRIAKARAKOS, Research Associate for Center of Research and Technology of Greece.
The speakers inter alia pointed that natural gas is an important energy resource for Europe’s economic development, and EU member states are highly dependent on foreign energy suppliers, including Russia and countries in the Middle East and Africa. The current crisis in the Black Sea region raises very important questions about how to reduce dependence on Russian natural gas in the near future. The European Commission is accelerating the diversification process and, according to EU officials, around fifty bcm a year will come from new sources of liquified natural gas (LNG), ten bcm will come through pipelines from other suppliers, and twenty bcm will come from new wind energy capacity that will reduce the demand for gas-fired power stations. In this regard, Europe has started to look for alternative and reliable natural gas supplies. The EU has already talked to energy partners such as Qatar, the United States, Nigeria, Egypt, and Azerbaijan about increasing natural gas supplies. These countries have the potential to support Europe’s energy security by stepping up natural gas supplies to the continent.
It has been underlined that Azerbaijan has proved itself to be a reliable energy partner for Europe. An important inter-regional energy project, the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), has been finalized. In 2021, as well as in January of 2022, more than 18.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas was exported through the Southern Gas Corridor to consumers in Georgia, Turkey, and Europe. During this time, only European countries have been provided with approximately 8.9 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani natural gas under long-term contracts, as well as short-term spot operations. Azerbaijan has the potential to increase gas deliveries to Europe by using its gas reserves in the Caspian Sea as well as accessing natural gas sources from other countries.