New Azeri energy deal to cut Europe reliance on Russia

STORY: "Given the current security context marked by the military aggression against Ukraine, we need to cooperate better and show more solidarity to mitigate common challenges," Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said during the round table meeting held in the country's capital Bucharest, also attended by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Von der Leyen said the EU's strategy to turn its back on Russian fossil fuels and diversify towards what she called "reliable energy partners" was working. She said the EU was ready to provide financial support to the project, which involves a 1,100 km (685 mile), 1,000 MW cable running from Azerbaijan to Romania, pending the results of a feasibility study.

"To integrate a growing share of renewables, we need indeed stronger electricity interconnections. This is why the Black Sea energy cable between Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan is so important," von der Leyen said.

Von der Leyen also said the Black Sea cable could transform Georgia into an electricity hub and integrate it into the EU internal power market, as well as help to start rebuilding Ukraine's energy system and aid the country's reconstruction.