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Linking the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union: Mission Impossible?; Alexander Libman

By Editor CI

views: 660

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:41 PM

The goal of the paper is to examine the prospects for cooperation between two ambitious regional integration projects in Eurasia – the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Both Chinese and Russian leadership proclaim their goal of linking these two initiatives; however, the actual potential for cooperation is disputed by observers. This paper argues that the EEU and the SREB are strikingly different in terms of their design and goals – however, it is precisely these differences that create the possibility of the projects’ co-existence in the Eurasian space, creating positive spillovers, as well as a limited agenda for more explicit cooperation. However, there are also important obstacles to cooperation: namely the growing protectionism in Russia; the danger of redistributional conflicts between the states of Eurasia; as well as broader geopolitical concerns. Read more...

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

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 659

Jan 18, 2016 - 11:50 AM

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

Book review: 'Nagorno-Karabakh: History Read from Sources' by Ramiz Mehdiyev:

By Editor CI

views: 653

Dec 23, 2014 - 12:03 PM

Caucasus International; Vol. 4 • No: 3-4 • Winter 2014-2015 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: 640

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: 635

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...

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

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 632

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...

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

By Editor CI

views: 605

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...

NATO-Russia Cooperation and its Soft Security Limits

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 595

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...
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