Gas: The EU-Azerbaijan deal is a mistake, according to a Czech MP
Pirate Party MEP (pirate party) Markéta Gregorová is skeptical about the memorandum of understanding on gas imports signed between the European Union and Azerbaijan because she believes the EU should learn from its past experience with Russia and not increase its dependence on dictatorships.
“I do not think it is wise to make progress now on the agreement to double gas imports from Azerbaijan as this will always backfire in the long run.”Ms Gregorová told EURACTIV Czech Republic in an interview.
The EU-Azerbaijan agreement is of particular concern at a time marked by deadly clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ms Gregorová warned that the gas taps could be turned off again if the EU side with Armenia.
“You can never be sure when dealing with a dictator”and explained Ms. Gregorová.
President Ilham Aliyev has ruled Azerbaijan since 2003. Under his rule, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh developed into a war. In September 2022, the situation worsened again after the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces. While Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of provocation and breaching the ceasefire, Armenia claims that Azerbaijan bombed several Armenian towns on the border.
Notwithstanding the escalation of the conflict, Ms. Gregorová is also skeptical about the content of the EU-Azerbaijan agreement. In her opinion, this provides for long-term cooperation, but no control mechanism.
“This is a dangerous precedent”warned the MEP before adding that the EU should rather work with democratic states like Norway or the United States.
The Greens/EFA wanted the European Parliament to discuss the situation in Azerbaijan and pass a resolution criticizing Baku, but also the European Commission, and asking the executive to reconsider the memorandum on energy cooperation.
Meanwhile, the Czech MEP from the Pirate Party – a Czech party that currently controls the Czech foreign ministry – is urging the EU to act in its unstable neighbourhood.
“The EU should increase its presence in regions where conflict is imminent or already existing and where there is a need for mediation”and added Ms. Gregorová.
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