It was the end of February and the scene is Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. During an official meeting, the Italian government was severely criticised for the considerable delays in the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
A USD 500 million loan for the share of Russian gas giant Lukoil in a major gas project in Azerbaijan has been approved yesterday by the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Yet, the decision will significantly hinder Europe's commitments to decarbonise as well as to advance democracy.
Platform have taken to the streets of London to protest the opening of the European Games. See a video of the action below, and read more in their book published Friday, All that glitters, which explores how the European Games belong to the Aliyev regime and the British oil company BP and how sport is being co-opted in the service of a dynasty and fossil fuels.
London, Prague -- Azerbaijan's authoritarian regime has been intensifying its crackdown on civil society with the recent jailing of two leading human rights defenders. The Aliyev regime has gained much of its political and financial clout by siphoning off proceedings from the country's vast oil and gas reserves. These are the same reserves that the EU is now planning to make its next big source of gas, and the same government that the EU still considers a legitimate partner.
Brussels – The Southern Gas Corridor, the EU’s new pet energy project, is not only unnecessary in light of gas demand projections, but also seems likely to fall short on the much flaunted goal of bringing energy independence from Russia, according to a new NGO study “Pipe Dreams” published today.
Despite the Russian invasion in Ukraine leading to EU and US sanctions against Moscow and major Russian energy companies, public banks supported by EU countries are gearing up to offer almost a billion dollars in financial support to Russian company Lukoil for gas extraction in Azerbaijan.
London -- Human rights activists in Azerbaijan published yesterday a list of 98 people who are currently political prisoners in the country run by the authoritarian regime of Ilham Aliyev. Ironically, the list includes the names of two of its authors, prominent rights activists Rasul Jafarov and Leyla Yunus, who were arrested under false charges earlier this month while they were working on the report.
The hiring of former British prime minister Tony Blair to advise a BP-led consortium pushing forward with plans to pump Caspian gas from Azerbaijan to Europe has bumped the 'Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline' (ECMP) into western media coverage and lead to criticism of yet another unsavoury Blair consultancy.
The letter asks EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Stefan Fule to put pressure on the Azeri authorities and support and protect civil society that faces an escalating suppression. Last week more than 20 NGOs were confronted with sanctions that included freezing bank accounts and seizing personal accounts of NGO executives and others. This is a continuation of the government’s on-going harassment campaign against human rights defenders that uses tactics like police summons, arrests, propaganda, and slandering and threating organisations with closure.