To improve the supply of natural gas to the European Union, gas pipeline operators from four EU countries in Central and Southeastern Europe have agreed to strengthen cooperation with the energy company SOCAR of Azerbaijan. Ministers from the five countries signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between Romania’s Transgaz, Hungary’s FGSZ, Slovakia’s Eustream, Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz and Azerbaijan’s SOCAR in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on April 25th.

Azerbaijan plans to double its natural gas supplies to the EU by 2027, the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, announced. The memorandum of understanding is part of an initiative known as the Solidarity Ring to increase the security of supply of natural gas to the European Union.