This category contains 30 posts

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

Importance of NATO’s Engagement in Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection in the South Caucasus

22612Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, independent Azerbaijan and Georgia launched their new national energy policies. This enabled them to bring Western investment and technologies into their energy sectors, which led to the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines. These pipelines empowered Azerbaijan and Georgia as politically and eco- nomically independent actors in regard to the transportation and supply of Caspian’s energy resources to the West. Continue reading

Post-sanctions Iran: Implications for Southern Gas Corridor and Opportunities for Azerbaijan

On July 14, 2015 Iran and the P5+1 countries agreed on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action concerning Iran’s nuclear programme, according to which Iran is obliged not to develop and acquire nuclear weapons. In return, the international community committed to remove sanctions, as the JCPOA stipulates the sanction relief from the “import/export and transport of Iranian oil/gas products and technologies; participation in joint ventures and investment for the oil/gas sectors; purchase, acquisition, sale, transportation or marketing of oil/gas from Iran.” Continue reading

Azerbaijan’s Strategic Importance for Europe and the Parliamentary Elections



Regardless of suffering of occupation from very near neighbourhood in early independence, Azerbaijan, by virtue of its vast energy resources and addressing them rationally, managed to achieve quite rapid economic development. The country, regardless of geopolitical situation in the region, however, is still able to run its foreign policy in a balanced manner without sacrificing its neither national interests nor pragmatic relations with near and far neighbours. Continue reading

Armenia is still a “Forpost”, but Azerbaijan is getting “New Choice” for Russia


On August 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a one-day working visit to Azerbaijan. During visit, presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia discussed a wide range of bilateral issues (trade, energy and transportation), including the legal status of the Caspian Sea and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. It’s the first visit of Vladimir Putin to Azerbaijan after his third presidency.

Continue reading

Armenia as a Strategic Satellite of Russia in the South Caucasus

Click for scanned original article at: Armenia as a Strategic Satellite of Russia in the South Caucasus

Armenia-Russia_flags_0As one of the most landlocked countries in the world, Armenia lacks both natural resources and access to the sea. This has led to the country reinforcing its strategic alliance with Russia. Unless Armenia breaks from its dependence on Russia and makes a constructive step in the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it will find itself becoming more isolated from its neighbours.  Continue reading

Plan – B: RESET of the “Zero Problems with Neighbors” Principle


On 22 March 2013, official sources from Turkish Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu expressed Israel’s apology for Mavi Marmara case (including for the death of nine Turks) in Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010.Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu apologized during his phone meeting with Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while two sides agreed on normalization of relations between two countries, including returning the ambassadors and to work on improving the humanitarian situation in the Palestine. In his turn, PM, Erdogan also accepted Israel’s apology on behalf of Turkey. [Aljazeera]. Continue reading

Energy in Russian Foreign Policy: Soft Power, Hard Power, or Smart Power?

COA-map_of_RussiaThe Glasnost and Perestroika policy of Michael Gorbachov played a crucial role in demolition of Eastern block and Berlin Wall and this policy resulted with the collapse of Soviet Union in December of 1991. The biggest heir of the USSR was Russia. Following the collapse of USSR, the main goal of Russia was to gain its lost reputation and global player role. His best assistants in the implementation of these goals were the Kremlin and Gazprom, including his vast amount of energy resources. [5, Beniamin & Cosmin, pg.44] Continue reading

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