Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell i Fontelles on behalf of the European Commission
The respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law are a key part of the EU relations with Azerbaijan, as stated in the jointly agreed EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities of 2018, which have been extended until 2024.
The human rights situation and democratic reforms remain an important part of the dialogue and cooperation and were highlighted during the latest EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council held on 19 July 2022 as well as in the latest Joint Staff Working Document — Cooperation Implementation Report on Azerbaijan.
The Commission therefore continues to underline to the Azerbaijani authorities the need to undertake necessary steps to ensure the respect of human rights and that the rule of law is in line with international standards and commitments undertaken. It also underlines the importance of Azerbaijan fully enforcing all European Court of Human Rights judgments.
The gas deal signed with Azerbaijan will contribute to the EU efforts to diversify its energy sources — following the March 2022 European Council’s Conclusion to phase out the EU’ dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports as soon as possible, as set out in the Versailles Declaration.
It also lays the foundations for cooperation on energy efficiency and clean energy, hence contributing to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This is not done at the expense of the EU dialogue on human rights and democracy with the country.