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A China to Europe Corridor: A New Imperative for the Kazakhstan-NATO Partnership; Micha’el M. Tanchum

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 8551

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:37 AM

The article examines the decade-long process through which Kazakhstan has deepened its partnership with NATO in the context of Kazakhstan’s concomitant economic rise and emergence as an important railway corridor for China-Europe trade. The article suggests that the Kazakhstan-NATO partnership has evolved to a level of strategic cooperation and interoperability whereby it meets the Eurasian strategic imperative of ensuring a functional non-Russian, China-to-Europe transportation corridor alongside the already existing Russian routes. In this light, Kazakhstan’s cooperation with NATO may be moving beyond the immediate concern of protecting Central Asia from the destabilizing effect of Islamic militancy. The article concludes by positing that NATO’s most critical role in the future may be in facilitating stronger security cooperation between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea. Read more...

Caucasus International Vol. 3 No: 1-2 - Spring - Summer - 2013

By Editor CI

views: 5330

Oct 12, 2014 - 12:44 AM

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NATO and Ukraine: In or Out? Hanna Shelest

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 3159

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:39 AM

Despite being the first of the former Soviet republics to join the NATO Partnership for Peace, and later signing the Charter on Distinctive Partnership, for the last 20 years Ukraine’s integration aspirations have been somewhat unstable. Kiev has struggled to maintain a balance between Russian influence and finding the optimal and most beneficial format for relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. By announcing its non-bloc status in 2010, Kiev did not lower the level of interaction and coordination with Alliance, but in fact developed interoperability and cooperation in new areas. The 2013-2014 events in Ukraine raise new questions about the future of the Ukrainian-NATO cooperation, as well as about the future of NATO itself. What does partnership mean and can it guarantee the security of a non-member state? Should NATO return to Europe? These are just a few of the questions raised by the current crisis. Despite the fact that Ukrainian membership in NATO is not on the agenda, public opinion in Ukraine in support of further NATO integration is increasing dramatically, and a search for new options for cooperation is timely. Read more...

NATO - Russia Cooperation and its Soft Security Limits; Gergely Varga

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 2669

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:51 AM

Since the early years of the post-Cold War era until the recent Ukrainian crisis, NATO has sought to build cooperation with Russia on a wide range of security issues, including soft security threats. Under the NATO – Russia Council framework, numerous initiatives have been successfully implemented to the benefit of both parties. However, based on an examination of NATO-Russia collaboration on soft security, this article argues that this cooperation has been conducted on a fairly limited and temporary basis. According to the author, one reason for this is the divergent perceptions on soft security and its relationship to political and economic systems. Another reason is Russia’s weakness and vulnerability in the soft security domain, which it does not want to expose. Furthermore, cooperation on soft security has been largely contingent on relations between the parties - though to a lesser extent than hard security issues have been. The Ukrainian crisis underlined the primacy of hard security issues and indicates that cooperation on soft security issues will remain a variable of global political developments. Read more...

'Perspective for Turkish Stream Project: Possible Scenarios and Challenges' by Ilgar Gurbanov

By Editor CI

views: 2198

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:21 AM

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. Russia’s aim is to complete the construction of the pipeline as soon as possible, namely before the Southern Gas Corridor is finished, or acquires additional gas from Iraq, Iran, or Turkmenistan. This article examines the possible scenarios and challenges for the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, and argues that Russian Gazprom’s commitments to other pipeline projects, such as Nord Stream II and the pipeline to China, may prevent Gazprom from completing the pipeline in its entirety. Read more...

The Azerbaijan-NATO partnership at 20; Khazar Ibrahim

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 2178

Dec 23, 2014 - 12:45 PM

Published in Caucasus International; "Experiences of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) in the Post-Soviet Space: 20 Years On" Vol. 4 • No: 3-4 • Winter 2014-2015 Read more...

Mission and Objectives

By Editor CI

views: 1790

Nov 11, 2014 - 9:17 AM

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

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 1612

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:18 PM

Following 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 economically independent actors in regard to the transportation and supply of Caspian’s energy resources to the West. With Turkey’s involvement, the cooperation acquired a larger scope and led to the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor. However, the regional and national level security threats in the Southern Caucasus including Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the post-2008 Russia-Georgia War situation and its implications, ongoing skirmishes in/around Nagorno-Karabakh, and bomb attacks on pipelines in Turkey brought the security of critical energy infrastructure onto the agenda of regional states, Europe, and even NATO. The national and political security environment in Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as in Turkey, has therefore become important for European energy security. This requires NATO’s involvement in the protection of energy infrastructures in the South Caucasus region. This article examines, therefore, the possible modes of cooperation between NATO, Azerbaijan and Georgia on the protection of energy infrastructures in the light of the security threats in the South Caucasus. The paper elaborates and concludes with recommendations for deepening the cooperation between NATO, Azerbaijan, and Georgia on energy infrastructure protection. Read more...

'Is Azerbaijani Gas a Game Changer in Balkan Energy Geopolitics?' by Plamen Dimitrov

By Editor CI

views: 1390

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:27 AM

Until now, the Russian company Gazprom has been the dominant gas supplier of the Balkan countries. Most of the projects for new gas pipelines in the Balkans have failed or have become stagnant in recent years for two main reasons: lack of gas to feed them (Nabucco, ITGI, Bulgaria’s “Balkan” gas hub), or an adverse geopolitical environment (South Stream, Turkish Stream). But it is already clear that Azerbaijani gas from the Shah Deniz field will reach Balkans through the Southern Gas Corridor. This article examines the Balkan routes of the Azerbaijani gas, and answers the question of how this new source of gas will influence the energy geopolitics of Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece. The conclusion is that the gas from Shah Deniz will trace out a new energy corridor through the southern part of the Balkans. Pursuant to this, an additional gas supply infrastructure could be built around this corridor – LNG terminals, interconnectors and new pipelines to bring gas from Turkmenistan, Iraq, or from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. Azerbaijani gas will, to a significant degree, act as a game changer in the Balkan energy geopolitics, although Gazprom will retain its role as a main supplier for the region. Read more...
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