Ilham Aliyev: "OPEC + format is successful for multilateral cooperation"
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was interviewed by Rossiya-24 TV channel of Russia on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV channels broadcast the interview with the Azerbaijani head of state.
- As tensions rise in the Middle East, what oil price dynamics can be expected this year?
- It's difficult to make predictions. I think that the current price level satisfies both producers and consumers. As for Azerbaijan, we have formed our budget for this year, predicting a price of $55 per barrel. But the price is much higher now. Therefore, I think that the price will remain between $55 and $65, if there is no force majeure. Moreover, The OPEC+ format is highly efficient and Azerbaijan proactively participates in activities of this format. We are slashing production due to commitments undertaken by us and the countries that are not OPEC members are essentially acting just like OPEC members. Therefore, OPEC+ is a very successful format of multilateral cooperation, which actually determined that the oil price is currently fair, from our point of view.
- Do you think the OPEC + deal should be extended?
-This will be discussed in the near future. Considering that we see specific results, I certainly consider reasonable to extend it. This is because we do not know how the market will respond in case of non-extension; various speculative trends can surface. That's why I believe that the extension makes sense.
- Are there any signs of multipolarity in the modern world?
-Certainly, the world now has a multipolar structure. There are several centers of power. Of course, there are issues that are of concern to us, the escalation of tension in our region. But we also see positive dynamics, when countries that did not interacted so closely now act almost like allies and make a great contribution to regional stability. Therefore, a multipolar world is a reality. I think as time goes on, these trends will be further strengthened. And this is good, because it is a guarantee of global stability.
- Are there any signs that one of the countries in the world still tends towards a more unipolar world?
- You know, large countries always have interests outside these countries, and each country wants to achieve better conditions for itself, expand its sphere of influence. This is nothing new in that. We've seen this for centuries, just at different levels of intensity. Therefore, that's not the issue, the issue is that the modern world order, including the international relations, implies multipolarity. If one looks at the UN Security Council permanent members, this is a reflection of the multipolar world. And no decision can be made without the consent of one of the permanent members. Therefore, I think that countries should not strive to ensure unipolarity for themselves, but, on the contrary, find elements of cooperation that will benefit everyone.
- Will Azerbaijan supply oil to the Republic of Belarus?
- It's not up to me. Probably that's a question for the oil company. We supplied oil to Belarus several years ago, but this process was suspended at the initiative of Belarus. If there is a need, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan will consider this issue. As of now, SOCAR Trading is one of the largest trading companies, and most of the oil it sells is not produced in Azerbaijan. Therefore, the Azerbaijani company can supply it anywhere. But the issue of price, the issue of logistics, the issue of contracts should be considered by the respective companies.