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NATO’s Possible Role in the Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure in Azerbaijan; Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 613

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:20 AM

After regaining its independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan started to implement an independent oil and gas strategy in the 1990s, which led to significant volumes of international investment flowing into the oil and gas sector. As a result of those investments along with close cooperation with international oil companies, Azerbaijan managed to build up substantial state energy infrastructure. In parallel, significant oil and gas transit infrastructure has been developed in neighboring Georgia. The Azerbaijan-Georgia energy corridor is critical not only for Baku and Tbilisi and the South Caucasus and Caspian regions, but also for Europe, which is host to the majority of the final consumers of Azerbaijan’s energy resources. Therefore, assuring the security of that energy infrastructure becomes even more important. Clearly, the protection of critical energy infrastructure is the responsibility of host countries; in line with this duty, Azerbaijan is doing its best to neutralize current security threats. In this vein, raising security relations with NATO to a higher level can improve the security of critical energy infrastructure in the South Caucasus. Based on an agreement between NATO and partner countries in the South Caucasus (i.e. Azerbaijan and Georgia), the proposed “Article 4.5” format can enable higher-level security relations. This article analyzes the possible positive mplications of that new format for the protection of existing energy infrastructure in zerbaijan, which is critical for European energy security. Read more...

Caucaus International Vol. 5 • No: 2 • Summer 2015

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 613

Jan 18, 2016 - 11:50 AM

Failure of International Governance and Global Governmentality Read more...

'Gazprom’s Refocus on Europe: The Replacement of the South Stream Pipeline with the Turkish Stream Pipeline' by Jeylan Mammadova

By Editor CI

views: 613

Jan 13, 2017 - 2:33 PM

Why did Gazprom cancel South Stream and replace it with Turkish Stream? In addressing this question, the author examines the debate surrounding the need for the Turkish Stream pipeline, which divided interviewees. Some regarded this project as part of Gazprom’s profit-oriented approach in the context of the threat to its market share amidst liberalization in Europe, its largest export market. However, others believed there is no demand for the project. Based on interviews conducted with experts in the energy sector as well as through corporate data, the paper concludes that the decision to replace the pipeline was part of Gazprom’s strategy to tackle the challenges it has faced in the European market in order to secure its position in that market. Read more...

Soft Security Perceptions in the Former Soviet Republics: Following, Engaging or Ignoring NATO? Jason E. Strakes

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 612

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:24 AM

The recognition of “soft” or non-traditional threats in the national security concepts of the former Soviet republics has become increasingly common during the past decade. Yet, this has also occurred in parallel with the gradual evolution of NATO strategic doctrine from its classical purpose of maintaining an effective counterbalance to Russia in continental Europe, to the vision of a transnational security community that protects member states from both military and non-military challenges that affect societies as a whole. This article examines the linkage between soft security perceptions in the post-Soviet states and their relationship with NATO since independence. The analysis compares bilateral relations with NATO and the recognition of soft threats as indicated by their inclusion in the official national security documents of the Baltic States, East Europe/the Slavic Republics, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia since independence. The chronology of NATO policies and the identification of soft threat types are examined to determine to what extent they represent direct alignment with NATO soft security initiatives, indirect influence of security assistance policies, or the pursuit of more independent definitions of national or Eurasian security as an alternative to renewed opposition between Europe and Russia alleged by advocates of further NATO enlargement. Read more...

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

By Editor CI

views: 593

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...

NATO-Russia Cooperation and its Soft Security Limits

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 570

Jan 14, 2015 - 3:24 PM

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...

The Trans-Caspian Corridor: Geopolitics of Transportation in Central Eurasia; Azad Garibov

By Editor CI

views: 570

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:39 PM

Having reliable and effective transportation networks for easy access to global markets is vital for modern economic development and security, particularly for landlocked states with disadvantageous geographical locations. Thus, the creation of efficient transportation corridors is very important for Azerbaijan and its Central Asian neighbors Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in terms of obtaining secure and cost effective access to the major export and import markets, and in order to overcome the trade bottlenecks created by the geography. Consequently, ensuring the reliable export of hydrocarbon resources to world markets and establishing cargo transport corridors have been a shared goal for Azerbaijan and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia since the restoration of independence in 1991. Currently, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, together with Azerbaijani railways, serve as an important export route for Central Asian oil to international markets. The Trans-Caspian partnership for the delivery of Central Asian energy resources to world markets is not limited to oil. There are also ongoing talks about the possibility of transporting Turkmen gas via Azerbaijan as part of the Southern Gas Corridor project. The other priority in regard to the creation of the geopolitically and geo-economically strategic Trans-Caspian corridor is the establishment of a South Caucasus-Central Asia cargo transit route between Asia and Europe. Attracting part of multi-billion EU-China trade to transit through Central Asia and South Caucasus offers a significant revenue source for all of the regional countries, as well as promises to create an effective corridor for their own trade relations with Asian and European countries. Read more...

Editor's Note

By Editor CI

views: 551

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:16 PM

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Caucasus under Review: Recently Published Books

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 550

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:59 PM

While the Caucasus is a region of enormous diversity and potential, it is also a region about which relatively little is known. However, during the last decade, a numerous publications on the region have expanded both regional and international understanding of this diversity and potential. This overview of recent publications provides an up-to-date reading list for anyone interested in the region. Read more...

Colloquy with Chingiz Ganizade: On Azerbaijani Refugees and IDPs from Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Region of Azerbaijan

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 547

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:41 PM

Vol. 5 • No: 1 • Spring 2015 - Displacement, Refugees and Migration in the Caucasus and Eurasia Read more...
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