Russia–Azerbaijan: an ambivalent partnership


By Sergei Markedonov, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., USA, 2013

Following the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of newly independent states, the Caucasus region, which for years had stayed at the periphery of world affairs, has found itself the focus of attention from influential international players as well as neighboring countries. Former Soviet Transcaucasia republics, which became subject to international law overnight, began to formulate their own national interests and foreign policy priorities. The emergence of independent states in the South Caucasus went hand-in-hand with attempts to advance new regional security mechanisms and new forms of international cooperation. READ MORE

Azerbaijan Earns Deferential Treatment from Moscow

By Vladimir Socor

Among the six countries in the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program, Azerbaijan under its President Ilham Aliyev seems uniquely impervious to Russian forms of leverage and, consequently, unique in receiving respectful treatment from the Kremlin. These two factors are closely connected in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s view of international relations, derived from his own social milieu. Like a neighborhood bully, Putin respects strength while intimidating those more vulnerable. READ MORE

Ilham Aliyev: Europe to become main market for Azerbaijani gas

The cooperation in energy sphere is one of the most important parts of relations between Azerbaijan and the EU, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Friday at the joint press conference in Brussels, with the president of European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU official website reported. READ MORE

History of Shoraz

By Guy Begg

Malta is becoming a place where criminals feel at ease even those who are wanted. Recently, the island nation was embroiled in a corruption scandal involving Rahat Shoraz, either a spy, or simply criminal, lurking on the comfortable shores from his Central Asian enemies. And finally it appeared a chance that this person will go to jail. READ MORE

Borg lambasts ‘gross calumny’ raised during EC briefing over Aliyev residence


During European Commission press briefing, press asks whether EC is aware of MEPs looking into claims of a bribe to foreign minister to award residence permit to Kazakh billionaire Rakhat Aliyev. READ MORE

Former East German prime minister dubs Malta’s handling of Aliyev case ‘scandalous’

Tonio Borg thrust into the limelight of hunt for Kazakh billionaire over Maltese residence permit. READ MORE

Where Does NATO’s Turkey Go?

By Arthur Dunn

This October it’s the 60th anniversary of joining Turkey to NATO. In the heat of the “cold war” it was extremely important part of strategic planning of the North Atlantic Alliance. Those times its task was about counteracting to the extension of geopolitical influence of the Soviet Union. Except for that, together with Greece simultaneously joining the Alliance it was a natural barrier on the way of direct approach of the USSR to an oil-wealthy Near East. READ MORE

Morningstar mission in the Caucasus

By Orkhan Sattarov

In early September, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev accepted the credentials of the new US ambassador Richard Morningstar. Thus, the period of instability in the work of the US embassy in Baku was finished. After the mission of Ann Dercy came to an end in July 2009, the position of the American ambassador was free for more than a year. Later the president of the US Barack Obama appointed to the position an experienced diplomat, the former co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Mathew Brayza by-passing the Senate. However, due to an active resistance of the Armenian lobby in the Senate Brayza’s career ended sooner than it should: he managed to work only for a year, after which his functions were not prolonged. READ MORE

Kazakh millionaire in murder inquiry ‘hosted’ in Malta despite police objections

Maltese government gives former diplomat, deputy head of Kazakh secret service, residence status despite police objections over Interpol alert. READ MORE

Future of U.S.-Azerbaijani Relations

By Galib Mammadov

The strong relations between Azerbaijan and the United States are very important for both countries’ national and energy security. Both countries need to understand the importance of cooperation and need to take action to reinforce relations with each other. READ MORE