According to her, these issues need to be jointly and systematically thought: “Geopolitical tensions related to the conflict in Ukraine have confirmed the need for strengthening energy security in Europe. The European Union has done a lot for strengthening of energy security in gas supply. Nevertheless, despite all these achievements in the strengthening of its infrastructure and diversification of suppliers, the Union remains vulnerable to external shocks. In some member states, as a result of new geopolitical situation primarily conditioned by the armed conflict in Ukraine, the issue of energy security has especially gained prominence. It has also turned the attention to the need for construction of energy infrastructure and new supply routes in order to achieve the reversibility of gas interconnection, as well as to the need of focusing on reverse options that would, in crisis situation, take over part of the supply capacities of this source of energy”.
The president said that Croatia has been actively involved in the elaboration of projects that aim at diversifying energy sources: “Croatia is planning to construct a floating LNG terminal on the island of Krk, as well as the Ionian-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (IAP). These are our priority projects that, as such, are on the European list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs)”.
The head of state added that the energy supply from the Caspian region is of significant interest to the European Union: “Relations with Azerbaijan are especially important to the European Union. I am deeply aware of the importance of achieving strategic partnership with Azerbaijan. Croatia is interested in strengthening economic cooperation with Azerbaijan. Croatia is very satisfied with the decision of the Shah Deniz consortium on the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline as an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor and optimal option for gas supply of South East Europe. This project was recognized by the European Union as one of the Projects of Common Interest and is crucial for improving the security of gas supply”.
She said the IAP is an excellent project, and to realize it, more significant gas reserves from the Southern Gas Corridor are needed: “This is a 520 km long pipeline, which would connect the gas pipeline system of Croatia with the TAP. In addition to Croatia, the countries included in the project are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The pipeline would enable gas supply of the participating countries and the surplus would be transported to other European countries. By means of IAP, gas from the Caspian region would be transported directly to European buyers, and the construction of the floating LNG terminal on Krk opens up a possibility for the transport of gas all the way to Poland”.