Azerbaijan has no intention of joining the European Union, the country’s ambassador to the bloc has said.
Vagif Sadigov told Brussels Signal that it does not foresee any future attempts to join either the EU or NATO but instead wanted to develop strong “external relationships” with both entities.
“The membership of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the EU and in NATO is not envisaged. It is not on our agenda,” the ambassador said during a visit to the Brussels Signal studios.
He was quick to emphasise that did not mean Azerbaijan was against closer co-operation with the EU, insisting that his country was keen to work with Europe on many issues, including energy and the “green” transition.
“Don’t misunderstand us, not having these objectives on our agenda does not mean that we do not want to develop our co-operation,” Sadigov said.
He noted his country’s participation in the Eastern Partnership, a joint initiative involving the EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine that aims to bolster European ties across the Caucuses and Eastern Europe.
“Azerbaijan alone invested into the EU countries more than all of the other five countries [in the Eastern Partnership] taken together,” he said.
Sadigov also emphasised that Azerbaijan was not contributing to the many pressures being put on the EU, such as mass migration.
“Please do not include us into that,” he said. “We are not on that list of those who are knocking at the EU door.
“We are not a burden for EU taxpayers, men and women who work day and night.”
The European Commission is expected to recommend launching a years-long accession process next month. https://t.co/TxpFR3ePD7
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 22, 2023
Since Azerbaijan launched its military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19, politicians and officials have questioned recent EU decisions to tighten relations with the country.
In particular, comments made by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that Azerbaijan could become a “very reliable and prominent renewable energy partner” to the bloc have been scrutinised, with some pressuring her to walk back the statement.
Sadigov backed the EC President, telling Brussels Signal that Azerbaijan could be relied on to supply both natural gas and large amounts of green hydrogen from 2027 onwards. “She is a smart lady,” the ambassador said.
He added that his country had always worked to fulfil agreements on energy exports to the EU, even at times when it was difficult to do so.
“She said that we are a reliable partner because we have a decades-long history of relations with the EU,” Sadigov concluded.
The ambassador told this website that Azerbaijani forces “miscalculated” during its military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in the death of five Russian soldiers.
European officials are “not serious” about achieving the EU’s “net zero” goals as proven by the lack of investment in nuclear energy, Conservative think-tank MCC Brussels has claimed. https://t.co/vHkJ27Qlx4
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 9, 2023