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Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan’s Cooperation With the EU: A Pragmatic Focus on the Benefits


european-union-and-azerbaijan-482718416_4467x2234During the June 22 Eastern Partnership (EaP) meeting in Minsk, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov outlined his country’s key areas of cooperation with the European Union and said the two sides are close to signing a document listing their “Partnership Priorities” (Mfa.gov.az, June 22). EU-Azerbaijani relations suffered in the past because of the European Parliament’s (EP) critical resolutions on Azerbaijan (see EDM, June 22, 2017). Continue reading

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Azerbaijan’s Acquisitions of New Missile Systems From Belarus and Israel: The Domestic and Regional Context


020On June 11, Azerbaijan unveiled its newly-acquired Polonez multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS, with a range of 300 kilometers) and LORA ballistic missile complexes (400 km), purchased from Belarus and Israel, respectively. Both weapons systems are designed to target major military bases and operational facilities located deep in enemy territory Continue reading

Aggravated Situation Around Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Exclave


051600010227An Azerbaijani soldier stationed in the country’s large western exclave of Nakhchivan was killed, on May 20, during a combat mission while suppressing enemy provocations coming across the border from Armenia. The incident came only two days after a visit by Armenia’s defense and foreign ministers to military bases located near the Azerbaijani-Armenian border around Nakhchivan Continue reading

Factors Contributing to Azerbaijan’s Growing Domestic Military Industry


iLDIRIM-MRAP-personnel-carrier-EDM-May-21-2018Azerbaijan’s Defense Industry (DI) Minister Yaver Jamalov said, on April 27, that 89 percent of domestic DI output during the first quarter of 2018 was made up of special-purpose defense products, some of which are exported to more than ten countries. He added that this export volume has doubled compared to 2017 Continue reading

Southern Gas Corridor Raises Significant Financing, but Still Faces Provocations


worldinfrastructurenewsOn February 6 and March 15, the European Investment Bank (EIB) allocated loan packages of €1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) and €932 million ($1.14 billion) to complete the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor’s (SGC) two main segments, which will carry Caspian-basin natural gas from Azerbaijan to Southeastern Europe—respectively, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) (Eib.org, February 6; Azertag, March 17). Continue reading

Azerbaijani leadership resolutely upholds the Southern Gas Corridor


Aliyex-azer-gas-1920x1040On February 6 and March 15, the European Investment Bank (EIB) allocated the biggest package of loan of € 1.5 billion (bn) and € 932 million (mm) respectively to complete the construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP). Both are main segments of the Southern Gas Corridor. Continue reading

Azerbaijan Seeks to Enhance Military Cooperation With Iran


d75f032bd96be424ff53572e811fdfd0Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami visited Azerbaijan, on February 21, to discuss the expansion of military cooperation (technical, medical, educational, joint defense industry), regional stability, as well as Caspian security (Mod.gov.azMdi.gov.az, February 21). Hatami expressed Iran’s interest in increasing Azerbaijan’s military power and in sharing military experience. Continue reading

EU-Azerbaijan Relations Set for Bright Future


european-union-and-azerbaijan-482718416_4467x2234There has been an increase in the volume of dialogue between the EU and Azerbaijan of late, notably the visits of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev’s to Brussels in February, and before that in November of last year. After the 15th meeting of the Azerbaijan-EU Cooperation Council in Brussels on February 9, the EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini praised negotiations with Azerbaijan as being constructive and forward-looking. Continue reading

Difficult Geopolitics of the Caspian Complicate Potential Energy Projects


113496_7406ef53942744708e0eThe foreign ministers of the five littoral Caspian states—Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran—met in Moscow, on December 5, 2017, to try to finalize an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. After the talks, the Azerbaijani and Russian representatives, Elmar Mammadyarov and Sergei Lavrov, respectively, praised the narrowing of the five country’s positions (Azernews.az, December 5, 2017). Continue reading

Azerbaijan Seeks to Speed Up Conclusion of New Agreement with the EU


EU-Azerbaijan_good_1493137615Before the Eastern Partnership’s (EaP) Brussels Summit in November 2017, many observers expected the finalization of the new EU-Azerbaijan agreement. However, neither this agreement nor the aviation agreement were signed, as many technical challenges remain to be addressed. Azerbaijan signed only a visa-free agreement with the BeNeLux countries for service passports holders and the indicative maps of the Trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Continue reading

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

The Potential Impact of New US Sanctions Law on Pipeline Projects Connecting Europe and Eurasia


While expressing some “concerns,” United States President Donald Trump signed the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” on August 2 (Whitehouse.gov, August 2)—legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by the US House of Representatives late last month. 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

The Southern Gas Corridor: Heading into the Home Stretch?


Trans-Adriatic-Pipeline-Selected-for-Shah-Deniz-Gas-TransportSecurity of gas supply is a priority for the European Union (EU) because it is critical to ensure that (1) supplies are not disrupted; (2) market can be competitive and (3) the EU cannot be blackmailed in foreign and security policy questions. Continue reading

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