Azerbaijan and Ukraine may consider the issue of expanding the bilateral energy cooperation, said Alexander Mishenko, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Azerbaijan.
Mishenko, talking to Trend, emphasized that Azerbaijan has a strategic importance for Ukraine within its plans to find an alternative to Russian gas supplies.
The diplomat said that in perspective, Ukraine plans to purchase “blue fuel” from Azerbaijan. “Diversification of energy resources is an issue of national security for Ukraine,” he added.
The envoy also highlighted activity of Azerbaijan’s state energy major SOCAR in Ukraine. The company delivered some 136,000 tons of fuel to the country in 2016, recording an increase of 7 percent compared to 2015.
Besides, SOCAR Energy Ukraine works to improve the network of petrol filling stations and organize wholesale of petrol and oil products in the territory of Ukraine. The company currently operates some 60 refueling stations across the country. The filling stations are operating under the SOCAR brand in the Kyiv, Odessa, Lviv, Nikolaevsk, Rovensk, Cherkasy, Khmelnytsky and Poltava regions of Ukraine.
Mishenko went on saying that a meeting of a working group on energy cooperation between the two countries is scheduled for mid February.
The Ukrainian side has already submitted its proposals on date and agenda of the meeting to Azerbaijani side, he said, expressing hope for early holding of the meeting.
“All attention will be focused on reaching the existing potential of the two countries. Azerbaijan has resources, Ukraine – is a good market, and this is important for Azerbaijan,” he said.
The envoy said that all aspects of deepening the cooperation will be discussed in the upcoming meeting. He mentioned that the countries are working on the implementation of different projects, including resumption of oil supplies to Ukraine, as well as participation of Azerbaijan in the modernization of Ukrainian infrastructure, in particular refineries.
Ukraine received the first batch of Azerbaijani Azeri Light oil in the volume of 80,000 tons in late December 2016. The commodity was delivered to the Kremenchug refinery for processing. Ukrtatnafta, operator of the Kremenchug refinery, expects that the total volume of such supplies to reach some 1.3 million tons in 2017.
The supplies are realized in line with the agreement on resumption of crude supplies to Ukrainian refineries inked between the presidents of the two countries. Azerbaijan’s energy giant SOCAR is a supplier of Azeri Light.