Regions / Russia & FSU

'Foreign Policy of Azerbaijan in 25 Years of Independence: Priorities, Principles and Achievements' by Javid Valiyev

By Editor CI

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:12 PM

This year marks Azerbaijan’s 25th anniversary of post-Soviet independence. During this time, it has emerged as a leading country in the South Caucasus in terms of economy, military and population. Over the past quarter-century, Azerbaijani foreign policy has been strongly influenced and shaped by the challenges and opportunities that have arisen as a result of its geography. An independent foreign policy has always been a guiding principle of Azerbaijan’s international relations, viewed as a central pillar of national security. Azerbaijan has pursued a balanced foreign policy, avoiding undue external influences and maintaining opportunities for cooperation with all regional and international actors. This strategy was aimed at advancing its national interest. Azerbaijan’s foreign policy also has a very strong regional focus: the country attaches major importance to relations with neighboring countries (including trilateral partnerships), which are also considered a geopolitical necessity. Along with the above-mentioned key characteristics and principles, the restoration of territorial integrity remains a major priority for Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. Read more...

'The Struggle of Georgian Democracy' by Giorgi Kanashvili and Revaz Koiavai

By Editor CI

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:11 PM

The paper aims to review the democratization experience of post-Soviet Georgia. Due to the differences in geography, history, political culture, economy, and governance of each Soviet republic, the transition periods of these countries have eradicated all commonalities. Despite their common problems, the transformations are individual, due to local conditions and circumstances. Georgia’s declared goal is the development of a stable and successful democracy. But how do Georgians understand democracy, and how is it supported via government policy? The social and educational diversity of Georgians shall be taken into consideration in assessing the functioning of judiciary, executive, administrative and legislative bodies. The various aspects of Georgian politics – informal deal making, attitudes of elites, generational specificities, and everyday concerns of citizens preclude the possibilities for generalization. The political culture of Georgia, social relations, local governance, employment problems, and daily political life was determined by the grotesque behavior of the Georgian elite and the Civil War, separatism and Russian intervention. This leads us to Tip O’Neill’s maxim – “All politics is local”. Read more...

'Security Dynamics in the South Caucasus since Independence: Interconnected Threats and Security Interdependence' by Azad Garibov

By Editor CI

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:09 PM

The article examines the security dynamics in the South Caucasus using the Copenhagen School’s Regional Security Complex theory, and seeks to uncover why and how the security of the three regional countries is interconnected and influenced by the region itself and its immediate neighborhood. It views the region as a distinct security complex, and argues that the South Caucasus can be best characterized as a region if viewed through the lens of security. Any major security dynamic affecting one of the three countries of the South Caucasus has clear implications for the remaining two. As small countries with limited capabilities, interests and agendas, the major security environment of the South Caucasus states is the region itself and its neighborhood, including immediate neighbors such as Russia, Turkey and Iran. The US, as the world’s only superpower, also has certain security interests in and interactions with the South Caucasus. Read more...

'The South Caucasus in the Global Struggle' by Araz Aslanlı

By Editor CI

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:08 PM

The article focuses on the history of German-Azerbaijani relations, namely, the dynamics over the last two centuries. There have been times when the relationship has been limited, if it has existed at all, due to the political circumstances of the time. The bilateral relationship can be divided into two stages: during the first stage, Azerbaijan was a dependent political entity inside the Russian Empire, and then a union member within the USSR. The second stage is characterized by the relationship between two independent states, with economic and political freedom in decision-making, as the countries have enjoyed for the past quarter of a century. The article traces the important moments in the relationship and outlines achievements, as well as areas for further cooperation. Read more...

'The Azerbaijan-Germany Relations in the Past 25 Years: The Milestones of the Past as the Basis for the Achievements of the Future' by Matthias Dornfeldt and Igor Korobov

By Editor CI

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:06 PM

The article focuses on the history of German-Azerbaijani relations, namely, the dynamics over the last two centuries. There have been times when the relationship has been limited, if it has existed at all, due to the political circumstances of the time. The bilateral relationship can be divided into two stages: during the first stage, Azerbaijan was a dependent political entity inside the Russian Empire, and then a union member within the USSR. The second stage is characterized by the relationship between two independent states, with economic and political freedom in decision-making, as the countries have enjoyed for the past quarter of a century. The article traces the important moments in the relationship, and outlines achievements, as well as areas for further cooperation. Read more...

'The UN Security Council and the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Policy of Double Standards and Unexecuted Resolutions' by Najiba Mustafayeva

By Editor CI

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:05 PM

The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is undoubtedly the most complex, as well as the most dangerous conflict in the South Caucasus. In 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted a series of resolutions (822, 853, 874, and 884) demanding the immediate cessation of hostilities and the complete and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from Azerbaijani territories. Despite the legally binding nature of the Security Council resolutions, they still remain unrealized. One of the main reasons for the ineffectiveness of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, is its inability and in some cases unwillingness to ensure the implementation of its resolutions. The failure of resolutions not only undermines the credibility of the United Nations, but also threatens international peace and security. However, the UN Security Council has the authority to apply sanctions to member states that fail to execute its resolutions. The resolutions of the Council adopted according to Chapter VII of the UN Charter (Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression) contain the legal elements of international responsibility. Measures taken by the UN Security Council in accordance with Article 41 and 42 of the UN Charter are coercive measures intended to encourage the offender to fulfill the obligations arising from its international legal responsibility. Read more...

'Energy Transit in the Caucasus: A Legal Analysis' by Rafael Leal-Arcas

By Editor CI

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:23 AM

This article provides an analysis of the commonalities and regional specificities of the intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) and Host Government agreements (HGAs) setting up the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline and the South Caucasus Pipeline. The paper also assesses the IGA for the Nabucco Pipeline project. It provides a careful examination of the links between the agreements comprising these three pipeline projects and the Energy Charter Model Agreements on Cross-border Pipelines in conjunction with the provisions of the Energy Charter draft Transit Protocol. This article attempts to answer the following questions: To what extent can common principles and regional specificities be derived from the agreements in question? How do the agreements relate to the Energy Charter Model Agreements and the Energy Charter draft Transit Protocol? What recommendations can be made in view of the possible agreement on common principles or rules on Transit and Cross-border energy flows in the Energy Charter context? Read more...

'The Threat to Energy Infrastructure in the Central Eurasia from Terrorist Groups Affiliated to ISIL' by Michael Fredholm

By Editor CI

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:20 AM

In 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced the establishment of its Khorasan Province, said to encompass “Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other nearby lands.” Soon after, ISIL proclaimed its Caucasus Province. However, the war in Syria and Iraq is going badly for ISIL. Losing ground in its heartland, ISIL fighters will have to turn elsewhere, which for many would mean returning to the Caucasus or Central Eurasia. They will aim to continue the fight there, using the tactics they learnt in Syria and Iraq. While the Caucasus and Central Eurasia have faced jihadist terrorism, these regions have largely been spared one of the tactics successfully employed by ISIL and its predecessor, Al-Qaida in Iraq: attacks on the energy infrastructure. Potential targets include production, processing, transmission, storage, and distribution facilities. The energy sector contains an abundance of soft targets, and the fact that successful attacks also may harm Western, Russian, and Chinese interests in addition to those of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the Central Asian republics will appeal to jihadists. This article will examine how jihadist groups have targeted energy infrastructure elsewhere and assess the likelihood of similar attacks in the Caucasus and Central Eurasia. Read more...

'Kazakhstan’s Energy Policy on the Eve of Kashagan Oil Field Production' by Mukhit B. Assanbayev

By Editor CI

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:18 AM

The article examines the geopolitics of transport communications in Central Asia and the Caspian, and Kazakhstan’s energy policy. Kazakhstan suffers from geopolitical isolation and preoccupied with identifying new inroads to foreign markets. This has become the main focus of its energy policy. Despite involvement by the Western countries, China, and Russia in regional energy geopolitics, Kazakhstan faces tough geopolitical choices. Astana is still in search of an effective energy policy that would enable further diversification of its transport communications. The existing transit routes for the Kashagan oil, as proposed by Russia and other external actors, do not fully support the energy security of Kazakhstan. As for Kashagan oil field production, the article concludes that the main obstacles include several complicated issues such as technical problems, as well as risks to the environment of the Caspian Sea. The new context, namely the dramatic decline of oil prices and its consequences for the global economy, makes it difficult to project a clear vision for the project’s success. Read more...

'Energy Security Strategy in Kazakhstan: Environmental Security and Renewable Energy Sources' by Renata Mantel

By Editor CI

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:16 AM

139 Renata Mantel* The article addresses the key aspects of energy security policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan, suggesting that increasing the use of the renewable energy sources (RES) is crucial for reducing the country’s dependence on oil and gas supplies. Greater reliance on renewables would improve economic and environmental sustainability, ensure increased energy security, and help create the conditions necessary for enhancing collaboration in Central Eurasia, as well as cooperation with Central Asian and EU states, in the energy sector. The paper also reviews several dimensions of the Kazakh oil and gas industry and its impact on the country’s energy security policy. It assesses measures that might prove effective for introducing new “green” technologies aimed at limiting consumption of non-renewable natural resources and introducing a larger-scale RES-based energy production. Read more...
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