Leaders negotiate direct flights between Sofia and Baku after signing gas agreement

Bulgaria will receive the first deliveries of gas from Azerbaijan at the end of 2019 after the leaders of the countries signed the final investment decision for the development of the Shah Deniz 2 field by the eponymous consortium in Baku.

During the meeting between the Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev the two also discussed the possibility of launching an airline between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan with the aim of intensifying contacts between the two countries and attracting more tourists and investments from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria.

According to the new agreement Turkey and Georgia will receive gas from the field in late 2018. Transfers to Europe, including Bulgaria, will follow a year later. Bulgaria's Bulgargaz and the Shah Deniz 2 consortium signed for the supply of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, representing nearly one third of the consumption in the country.

"Today we made a real step in the diversification of gas supplies to Bulgaria", – Prime Minister Oresharski stated at the signing ceremony in Baku.

"Energy is only a part of our bilateral relations and it could be a very potent stimulator of its development", – Aliyev noted.

Oresharsky and Aliyev also discussed the possibilities of how Azeri companies could participate in the energy sector of Bulgaria and invest in Bulgaria's tourism.

Adapted from Standart