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BUCHAREST: The leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary signed an agreement on Saturday on the construction of an electric cable running under the Black Sea to carry green Azeri energy from planned Caspian Sea windfarms to Europe.

The agreement involves a 1,100 km (685 mile), 1,000 MW cable running from Azerbaijan to Romania as part of wider European Union efforts to diversify energy resources away from Russia amid the Ukraine war.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the European Commission had earmarked 2.3 billion euros ($2.4 billion) to support the construction of the cable, which would be the longest of its kind in the world, and Azerbaijan was inviting investors to build the turbines.

He said a feasibility study would be completed by the end of 2023 on the cable project, which would then take three to four years to build.

At the same meeting Azerbaijan also said it plans to slightly increase its natural gas exports to Europe next year as Brussels seeks to replace falling energy supplies from Russia.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis told the meeting: “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.

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