Barroso (right) and Aliyev in Brussels on November 7 (epa)
November 7, 2006 -- The European Commission says it has signed an agreement on energy partnership with Azerbaijan.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced the accord today after talks in Brussels with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
"The implementation of the memorandum of understanding on energy will allow achieving a better integration of Azerbaijan into European Union energy markets," Barroso said. "It will strengthen European Union energy security. Thanks to supplies from the Caspian Basin, it will allow the development of more efficient energy-demand management in Azerbaijan and also the exchange of expertise."
The EU, which relies heavily on oil and gas imports, has sought to diversify supplies since a gas-pricing row between Russia and Ukraine briefly disrupted deliveries to Europe at the beginning of this year.
Barroso said he also raised the EU's concerns over democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan during his talks with Aliyev.
SETTING THE RATES: With Gazprom negotiating new contracts, many states will be paying more for Russian natural gas in 2007.
- Belarus, following tense negotiations with Gazprom, will pay $100 per 1,000 cubic meters in -- up from $47 in 2006.
Ukraine, which depends on Russia to supply it with about 77 percent of its gas, will pay $130 per 1,000 cubic meters of a Turkmen-Russian gas mix.
Moldova, which depends on Russia for 100 percent of its gas, will pay $170 per 1,000 cubic meters, with the price rising to European-level market price by 2011.
Georgia has agreed to pay Gazprom $235 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.
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