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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

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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

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

Propaganda Against Trans-Adriatic Pipeline Continues Under ‘Environmental Concerns’


TAP-protests.jpgOn April 6, Italy’s Lazio Regional Administrative Court (LRAC) suspended the environmental impact permit for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which would have allowed for the relocation of olive trees that obstruct the planned path of the pipeline in the Puglia region town of Melendugno (Italianinsider.it, April 7). 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

Russian Gas in the Southern Gas Corridor Could Undermine the EU’s Diversification Plans


TASS_1039167_468Gazprom has officially declared its willingness to use the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as a route to deliver gas to Europe. TAP is an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) which is one of the priority energy projects for the EU to ensure the continent’s security of supply from a non-Russian source. Continue reading

Injecting Russian Gas Into TAP: Downgrading Importance of Southern Gas Corridor


1l-Tap route.jpgFor the first time ever, Gazprom officially expressed interest in using the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to deliver Russian gas to Europe (Trend, January 24). During the European Gas Conference in Vienna, on January 24, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said that Russia’s upstream capacity is sufficient Continue reading

Perspective for Turkish Stream Project: Possible Scenarios and Challenges



Following the cancellation of South Stream, Russia announced its plans to reroute the pipeline to Turkey, instead of Bulgaria. The new pipeline was dubbed “Turkish Stream”, with same capacity of South Stream, but less vulnerable to EU competition law. “Turkish Stream” has also experienced delays due to the crisis in Russia-Turkey relations. However, following the recent normalization of bilateral relations, the project regained its momentum. Continue reading

TAP’s Fate after the Italian Referendum


Italian PM Renzi leads a news conference to mark 1000 days in the government, in RomeOn December 4, a referendum in Italy rejected the sweeping constitutional reforms proposed by the government, ultimately resulting in the resignation of Matteo Renzi from the prime minister’s post. One of the main proposed constitutional changes was the division of competences between the state and the regions on defining which governing body will retain the legislative power on “land-use planning” and “transport and distribution of energy.” 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

Russia Pushes ‘Gas Swap’ Plans With Iran Amidst Azerbaijan-Iran Gas Talks


7989eaedf2The Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran—Ilham Aliyev, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani, respectively—met in Baku, on August 8, and signed a Joint Declaration committing their countries to deepening cooperation on energy. In particular, the three sides pledged to collaborate on exploring oil and natural gas deposits, 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

Turkey-Russia Rapprochement and Prospects for ‘Turkish Stream’


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Credit: novinite.com

On June 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin received a letter from President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, expressing Turkey’s willingness to restore ties with Russia (Kremlin.ru, June 27). Immediately, Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov announced his company’s openness to dialogue with Ankara on the construction of the “Turkish Stream” natural gas pipeline Continue reading

Southern Gas Corridor Gains New Momentum


Work on the Southern Gas Corridor’s (SGC) implementation intensified to an unprecedented degree in recent months. On March 17 and May 17, the groundbreaking ceremonies of two key constituent parts of the Southern Corridor—the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)—were held, respectively, in Turkey and Greece. 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

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