The EU no longer purchases oil and gas from Russia. With Azerbaijan and its President Ilham Aliyev, however, Europe has another partner who is in no way inferior to Putin in many areas. The Russian President even benefits from the deal.
Since the turn of the year, not a drop of Russian oil has flowed to Germany. The exemption for deliveries to the east German refineries Schwedt and Leuna has expired. Nevertheless, the EU continues to import oil and gas from a partner in Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, who in many cases is in no way inferior to Putin.
The autocrat Aliyev is waging a war of aggression with Azerbaijan against neighboring Armenia and describes the unchristian country as “old Turkish Azerbaijani territory”. In September, the Azerbaijani army killed over 200 Armenian soldiers in attacks.
Aliyev also turned off the gas tap for the winter of 2022 for the Armenian minority in the country, and people could not heat for weeks. Since December, alleged environmental activists have also been blocking the only access road that Armenia uses to deliver food to those affected in Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev’s government denies having anything to do with the action.
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Azerbaijan has been pumping oil into the EU for a long time, and Germany is one of the top buyers. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed a wind power contract with Azerbaijan in December. The deal will soon see offshore wind power flowing to Romania and Hungary. In the summer, von der Leyen called the country a “reliable supplier”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is also among the beneficiaries of the deal. Russia profits from Azerbaijani exports. Gazprom exports natural gas to Azerbaijan, which could be forwarded from there to the EU. In addition, Lukoil, Russia’s second largest energy group, is a co-owner of the infrastructure for gas transport to Europe. Although Lukoil spoke out against Putin’s war at the beginning of the war, he is now closely involved with the regime.