Report’s Berlin bureau interviews Mark Hauptmann, deputy of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of the German Bundestag.

– Azerbaijan and European Union have further strengthened their cooperation in bilateral projects lately. What can you say about the prospects of this cooperation?

– Azerbaijan is our major partner owing to its geostrategic geographical location and immense energy resources, including the supplies of various types of energy sources by Azerbaijan both from its own resources and from the Central Asian countries. By sending 2.5 mln tonnes of oil to Germany in 2017, Azerbaijan settled in the eighth place among the crude oil exporters to our country. I believe that these and other figures testify to the serious development of economic ties between the two countries. This also means the formation of a very important foundation for economic ties, for the successful implementation of the joint business projects by German and Azerbaijani companies and mutual trust.

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– How do you evaluate the current state and prospects of relations between Azerbaijan and Germany? In general, what positive things can be said about Azerbaijan’s relations with Europe both in energy and other spheres?

– Azerbaijan is, undoubtedly, the major economic partner of Germany in the Caucasus. We are bound by close relations. German chancellor Angela Merkel visited Azerbaijan in summer of 2018. These days the state secretary of the parliament Thomas Bareiß is visiting Azerbaijan with a delegation responsible for economic ties. He is expected to meet with Azerbaijani President, Mr.Ilham Aliyev, Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev, Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, official representatives of SOCAR oil and gas concern. I see good prospects for the future strategic partnership. Building closer relations with Azerbaijan especially in the energy sector is among EU’s strategic priorities. Oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea basin is transported through Turkey to the West by the Trans-Adriatic and Trans-Anadolu pipelines, which means that by strengthening ties with Azerbaijan we reduce our dependence on Russian gas and ensure supplies to Europe. These relations will certainly strengthen in the future.