This category contains 52 posts

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


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 


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


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


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


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


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


Southern Gas Corridor Seeks Financial Backing Amidst Volatile Oil Prices

During the third ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) Advisory Council, held in Baku, on February 23, the European Commission’s vice president for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, encouraged international financial institutions to bankroll the SGC project (Trend, February 23). 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


Perspectives for Israeli Gas in Southern Gas Corridor Hampered by Economic Limitations

leviathan-gas-fieldIsraeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Dan Stav, announced, on November 6, that his country was “considering the possibility to transport its natural gas to Europe via the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline [TANAP] through Turkey.” Earlier, on October 14, Turkish presidential advisor Cemil Ertem declared that Turkey wants to connect Israel’s gas supplies to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) —an energy transit corridor from Azerbaijan to Europe, of which TANAP is a key link Continue reading


SOCAR’s Complicated DESFA Deal Faces New Setbacks

0f975eb049Rovnag Abdullayev, the head of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR), told reporters on September 5 that his company is waiting for an explanation from the Greek government for its violation of the originally agreed-upon privatization terms for Greece’s Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) (Azernews.az, September 6). 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’


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


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