This category contains 37 posts

Outcomes of the Eastern Partnership Brussels Summit for Azerbaijan

IA EaP SummitBefore the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Brussels Summit (November 2017), there were many polemics associated with competing language of the summit’s declaration on unresolved conflicts and the new EU-Azerbaijan agreement. The European Parliament’s (EP) previous critical resolutions towards Azerbaijan, which is considered by Baku a political provocation carried by some anti-Azerbaijani circles, had earlier postponed the negotiations of the new agreement. Continue reading


Azerbaijan, Belarus Pursue Military Cooperation

Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov visited Belarus, on October 9–10, and toured local defense-industry enterprises to review modern military equipment that could help boost the capabilities of the Azerbaijani army (Mod.gov.az, October 810). The Ministry of Defense released photos of Hasanov standing in front of the new Polonez multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS), the T38-Stiletto short-range air-defense system, radars and a communications jamming (electronic warfare) station—a clear indication of what Azerbaijan is interested in purchasing from Belarus. Continue reading

Interaction with Turkish Air Forces Boosts Azerbaijan’s Air-Combat Capability

df1a67964f48dd102b7cc05bc8204badThe Azerbaijani and Turkish Air Forces conducted joint flight-tactical exercises in Azerbaijan, on September 18–30, with the involvement of combat/transport aircraft and helicopters. Such systematic joint exercises help foster greater interoperability and exchange of experience between the two air forces. Additionally, these drills improve the practical skills of pilots for joint coordination and execution of conventional combat operations (Mod.gov.az, September 1429). Continue reading


Gas Diversification Policy of Georgia: Role of External Actors — Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran

Cover page comment samThe ultimate purpose of this research paper is to examine Georgia’s gas diversification policy options from the standpoint of economic attractiveness, political likelihood, transportation (infrastructure) connectivity and energy security. The paper encompasses five chapters on Georgia’s energy sector including discussion of energy balance, energy demand, gas suppliers, sources, etc.; the role of Azerbaijan in Georgia’s energy market and existing pipelines and contracts; Russia’s interest in Georgia’s gas sector, including recent talks and renewal of the transit agreement, as well as public reactions thereto; and the possibility of Iranian gas exports to Georgia, including the role that Armenia is enthusiastic to play in this regard. You can freely access the material in pdf via Gas Diversification Policy of Georgia: Role of External Actors — Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran 


Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Visits Israel, as Bilateral Ties Grow Stronger

15497cb9adba5e0ee5cfd8d46bdfc340Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov paid a visit to Israel, on September 11, to discuss cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres with the host country’s leading defense industry enterprises. While there, he also toured the Command and Control Center (CCC) of the Israeli Armed Forces (Mod.gov.az, September 111314). Continue reading


Revitalizing the Military Dimension of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Tripartite Partnership

On May 23, the defense ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey (AGT) held a trilateral meeting in Batumi, followed in June by the joint trilateral field training Caucasian Eagle 2017 of the three countries’ Special Operations Subdivisions in Georgia’s Vaziani base. Continue reading


Strategic Partnership Agreement: A New Chapter in EU-Azerbaijan Relations

Ilham-Aliyev-and-Federica-Mogherini-Brussels-February-6-EDM-June-22-2017-640x360On June 13–14, the European Union and Azerbaijan held another round of talks on the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). Those ongoing discussions were first inaugurated on February 6, with the official visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Brussels. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated that both sides hope to finalize the draft agreement by the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit Continue reading


Will Violence Increase Between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

1040866976The International Crisis Group recently published a comprehensive report titled “Nagorno-Karabakh’s Gathering War Clouds”. One of the key messages of the report was the looming threats of large scale war in the South Caucasus because of this conflict. The report referred also to the growing militarization in South Caucasus Continue reading


Armenia’s Doubts on Russia Ties Prompt Pro-EU Maneuvering

Serzh-Sargsyan-785x487.jpgOn February 28, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan speaking at Carnegie Europe, a Brussels-based think-tank dubbed Armenian people ‘European‘ due their spiritual-cultural heritage and way of life, and stressed the importance of ‘shared values’ in the new EU-Armenia agreement. The speech came a day after the European Union and Armenia agreed on the “Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement” (CEPA) Continue reading


Brussels Rolls out the Red Carpet for Azerbaijan

1543192740513In February, the European Union rolled out the red carpet for the official visit of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev for the inauguration of the new EU-Azerbaijan “Strategic Partnership Agreement.” During the visit, President Aliyev called the new agreement a “new chapter” in Azerbaijan-EU relations Continue reading


Suspension of Azerbaijan’s EITI Membership: Repercussions for the Southern Gas Corridor

EITIThe International Board of Directors (BoD) of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) suspended Azerbaijan’s membership in the coalition. The decision came during the BOD’s 36th meeting (on March 8­–9), in Colombia. The EITI promotes the open and accountable management of oil, natural gas and mineral resources with the involvement of governments, companies and civil society organizations Continue reading


Azerbaijan’s SOCAR Interested in Buying a Stake in Georgia’s Oil & Gas Corporation

2749399736_3712f58661The finance minister of Georgia, Dimitri Kumsishvili, recently announced that the Georgian government is considering selling a 25 percent stake in the state-owned Georgian Oil & Gas Corporation (GOGC) on the international stock exchange in 2017 (Cbw.ge, November 30). Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) disclosed its interest in obtaining a share in Georgia’s GOGC, if a tender is officially announced (Trend, November 28). Continue reading


Armenia seeks to boost its role in the Iran-Georgia gas talks

iran-armenia-flagsThe Iran-Armenia-Georgia gas talks have recently gained momentum. Iranian and Georgian companies have signed gas purchase contracts, to supply natural gas to Georgia through Armenia. While the perspective of enhanced Iran-Armenia-Georgia gas cooperation is limited from political and technical viewpoints, Armenia is actively seeking to carve out a new role for itself in order to mitigate the repercussions of its long-running isolation Continue reading


Ex-Gazprom man takes over the legacy of Armenia’s problems

karen_karapetyan_s-thumb_-1024x576President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan appointed Karen Karapetyan a new Prime Minister of Armenia on September 13, following the resignation of his predecessor Hovik Abrahamian due to his inability to tackle the country’s economic problems. Continue reading


Azerbaijan: Europeanisation Versus Real-Politics

13653101_1106232216131915_5752547286193939555_oSince gaining its independence, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is oscillating between security priorities and normative transformation. Following the dissolution of the USSR, newlyindependent Azerbaijan opened a new dimension of its foreign policy in the direction of the West. The successful realisation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, as well as the whole East-West energy corridor paved the way for the economic integration of Azerbaijan into Europe. Continue reading


Georgia’s Endeavours for Alternative Gas Supply: Implications for the regional Energy Map

1242During 1996-2003, Russian ITERA was a main gas supplier for Georgia and owner of its natural gas distribution companies. As of 2002, Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration sought to alienate ITERA from Georgia’s gas sector. In 2002, Russian Gazprom took over the natural gas sector from ITERA and the control over the main gas pipelines. Continue reading


Iranian gas in Georgia. A feasible option?

13_GeorgiaOver the past few months, the Chief of Russia’s Gazprom, Aleksei Miller, and Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze have been negotiating an energy deal between the two countries. The main issues on Georgia’s agenda have been its diversification plans and increasing energy consumption. Meanwhile, Georgia has not yet ruled out importing gas from Iran. Continue reading


Four-Day Karabakh War Highlights Threats to Energy Security on NATO’s Southeastern Flank

The periodic escalation of violence in and around the separatist Azerbaijani territory of Karabakh routinely raises concerns about this conflict’s threat to regional energy security and pipeline infrastructure. However, few commentaries analyze this issue’s broader geopolitical implications in any detail. Continue reading


Nuclear Alarm from Armenia

_87709331_thinkstockphotos-182262675After the four-day intensive skirmishes in early April along the line of contact in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, Armenian politicians made the headlines with their bellicose rhetoric by declaring “the presence of the nuclear weapon in Armenia”. Continue reading


The Frozen War That Threatens Global Energy Flows

nagornoOn April 5, 2016, Azerbaijan and Armenia declared a cease-fire after four days of intense fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh along the line of contact. However, during April 26–28, Armenian armed forces located in the occupied regions of Azerbaijan began shelling the civilian settlements in the villages of Aghdam, Agjabadi and Terter districts of Azerbaijan with heavy artillery, grenade launchers and large-caliber weapons. Continue reading


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