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The EU Must Stop Buying Gas from Azerbaijan

The logo of the newspaper "DN"

CMES researcher Svante Lundgren has written an op-ed article about the ongoing crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh published in Dagens Nyheter.

The article "EU måste sluta köpa gas från Azerbajdzjan" (English translation: "The EU Must Stop Buying Gas from Azerbaijan") was published in Dagens Nyheter on October 4, 2023. Below are some excerpts in English.

The ongoing ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh comes after years of Azerbaijani attacks and blockades. Despite that, the EU is staying in the background and seems to be most concerned about the gas supplies from Azerbaijan. But authoritarian states are not stopped by appeals. Powerful sanctions are needed, writes religious scholar Svante Lundgren.

The humanitarian disaster in Nagorno-Karabakh did not come as a surprise. Armenians and those who have closely followed the conflict have for a long time warned that it will end exactly this way. The world community, including the EU, let Azerbaijan get away with its military adventures, which only spurred the country on.

It was possible for Azerbaijan to put over 100,000 people in a humanitarian crisis, even on the verge of genocide, without suffering anything but verbal condemnations.

In the summer of 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, visited the capital, Baku, and signed an agreement on gas supplies from Azerbaijan to Europe. She has several times since then praised the country as a reliable energy partner for the EU.

Resolute action from the West is needed to ensure that the aggressive Azerbaijani regime does not, in its current victory rush, embark on new military adventures.

Therefore, the EU should introduce sanctions against this regime.

In a first step, it may be about targeted sanctions against President Aliyev and his close associates, who have large assets abroad, including several luxury properties in London. In addition, the EU's gas agreement with Azerbaijan should be terminated.

The Swedish government and the Swedish MEPs should give their support to sanctions. You cannot behave as Azerbaijan has now done without there being consequences.

Read the article (in Swedish)

Svante Lundgren's research profile