Russia in the Caucasus and Eurasian perspective of Azerbaijan


Attention external forces to the largest of the Transcaucasian Republic is steadily increasing. To imagine Azerbaijan seek and United States and the European Union, and Russia. Events in Ukraine and the creation of a Eurasian Economic Union (EEMA) raised the stakes under the conditional name "win the sympathy of Baku".

Among the players in Azerbaijan towards less consistent in all Americans. The political elite of the Caspian Republic continues to treat American partners with suspicion. Past meet them, periodically turning to the topic of human rights violations in Azerbaijan, the existence of political prisoners here. Often, official Washington commentators come very far in their estimates and projections. More recently, the United States Ambassador in Baku Richard Morningstar made many ambiguous statements addressed to local authorities. Speaking about the prospects of development of Azerbaijan, an American diplomat mentioned the lack of solidity in the leadership of the Republic. By Morningstaru, whose estimates not worth treating nesër′ëzno, given the track record of the work of the individual in decision-making positions in the United States State Department, prominent Azerbaijani managers Wednesday presented a different perspective on the priority of the foreign policy of the country. Part of the higher bureaucracy adheres to pro-Western moods, the other sees the future of Azerbaijan in deepening ties with Russia on all promising directions of the building of inter-State relations.

In fact, Americans, in addition to the edifying tones offer Baku especially. Plans for the United States in the South Caucasus are plain anti-Russian and anti-Iranian in nature with all the ensuing consequences. Place Azerbaijan in these plans is also quite obviously-stay with two neighbors to the North and South in a State of permanent tension. Relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union are determined by the oil and gas potential of the Republic. Obdelënnaâ not natural resources Republic of interested Europeans under the prism of deliveries in a westerly direction relatively large volumes of hydrocarbons. Trasnacional′nye Corporation with European roots dominate in Azeri fuel and energy market. Only a small part of oil and gas of the Republic of is focused on Russia and Iran. In the latter case, the amount of cooperation at all negligible: Azerbaijan supplies gas to the northern provinces of Iran in Exchange for the supply of Iranian gas reversing in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Europe needs Caspian oil and gas, and all the talk about the prospects of Azerbaijan's integration into Western clubs are no obligation of a diplomatic balancing act.

Azerbaijan should not fall under the decisive influence of Russia and Iran is such a common installation comes down against the oil policy of the West of the Republic. Americans directly state that neither oil nor gas of Azerbaijan does not represent to them an economic interest. Moreover, voiced by Europeans, big game guardians gaskets bypass Russia energy routes from Central Asia and the Caucasus in the old world, Azerbaijan's export potential assessments reveal Brussels politically motivated, play on "European attitudes" of the Azerbaijani elite. The Republic would be able to meet only a small part of European needs in Gaza. In January 2014 onwards, the British Financial Times, noting the impressive volume of investment in the project "Shah Deniz 2" (about us $ 45 billion), concluded that the Azerbaijani gas coverage, only 2% of current European needs in this ènergoresurse. By the time of the anticipated completion of the trans-Anatolian and trans Adriatic pipelines gap between pan-European demand for natural gas and the real possibilities of Azerbaijan to compete with Russian gas pipeline will only intensify. On Caspian oil from the Azeri shelf, given that its main addressees serve Turkey and Israel, "substitution" for Europeans and that more dismal.

On the nevnâtnom background of American and European policy towards Azerbaijan Russian approaches look much more elaborate. Relations between Moscow and Baku not entirely deprived of complexities. This is not so. The most pressing items between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus neighbours continue to be deflected over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It was under this angle in Baku remains wary attitude towards Caucasian policy of Russia. After the Crimean referendum in Azerbaijan can watch another round of mistrust towards the northern neighbour. In the West-oriented publications in Baku reported topic looming over Baku after Crimea "danger". On the development of theories have been put forward by the European Union, "Azerbaijan's security model from Russia", which "intensive secret negotiations with Europe. Part of local experts and politicians builds its alarmist suppositions on the premise of absolute support for the Russians their only ally in the region, that fate was formal enemy No. 1 in Baku. More in the presence of Russia and Armenia in a system of collective security and availability on Armenian territory of Russian military base, a massive package of Russian-Armenian arrangements in the economic sphere to assume difficult. Actually, Moscow has tried its best to not build relations with Armenia to the detriment of the interests of Azerbaijan. Russia took as a basis the parity rate advance their positions in the konfliktogennom region, where the intensity of the confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan leaves virtually no room for finding a mutually beneficial compromise. Karabakh conflict have no military solution, and its political settlement in the foreseeable future is extremely difficult. The reasons for this are manifold, but they all inevitably impede the development of joint relations with Yerevan and Baku. However, this does not mean the inevitability of failure of peace initiatives in the region of the conflict, the Russian policy of maintaining regional balance. West and his Caucasian client agents from among the zealous critics Russia seek any excuse to cause the positions of Moscow in regioe, causing serious damage in Yerevan and Baku anti-Russian sentiment. For example, delivery of Russia in Azerbaijan battle tanks t-90s again intensified Armenian supporters of the course for rapprochement with the West. Although simple counting balance Moscow supplies weapons to his Caucasian partners shows that the CSTO ally at least society lacks. And in some types of supplied from Russia of weapons and military technology far ahead of his opponent in the Karabakh conflict.

Russia does not have the ready key to resolving Armenian-Azerbaijani contradictions, however, some factors you can identify. Creation of EEMA opens new prospects for withdrawing from the Caucasus conflict "stress". Azerbaijan's entry in a deeply integrated post-Soviet economic bloc with hindsight it seems something very abstract. A quick look at the interest of local elites maintain close business ties with Western partners, as well as the factor most advanced relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey configures most expendables optimists on pragmatism. If Russia does not build at the expense of relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, a similar installation is in the foreign policy course of the Caspian Republic. She tries to join with all external forces "flexible alliances, no one is pushing on my own, but not away too close. Ravnoudalënnoe distancing from regional and global centres of force reasonably seems only right decision in Baku. Another question, how this complementary "elasticity" Azerbaijani authorities will be able to advance indefinitely. 17-18 before June visit to Baku, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of the Baku corridors power signal lack of leadership of the intention to join EAEC.

This is most likely a tribute to the foreign policy of the Republic of ravnoudalënnomu, made by inertia soothing gesture towards Baku their Western partners. A few days before the visit of the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Baku hastened to "check out", European Commission President Barroso. By the way, an interesting nuance of the tour of the main EU countries-participants of the European Eastern partnership program was not attending them in Armenia. Although this (it would be desire!) you can find a reason. For example, in the form of presentation of the new EU leadership of Armenian for the South Caucasus, German diplomat Herbert Zalbera.

Azerbaijani authorities cannot ignore public opinion, citizens of the Republic in the building of closest relations with Russia. According to Azerbaijani sources, Eurasian integration vector supports from 35% to 45% of its population. Migration of Azeris are predominantly focused on the Russian market. There are about 360 thousand registered in bodies of the Russian FEDERAL MIGRATION SERVICE citizens of Azerbaijan. The real number of labour migrants-Azerbaijanis in Russia is estimated up to 2 million. man. Freedom of movement of labour in the EAEC as one of the key elements of the integration in the Eurasian economic space, participants decided to many of the current problems faced by about a quarter of the country's citizens.

At the level of cooperation of public and private economic entities of Russia and Azerbaijan also laid a big potential for development. In the Republic's foreign trade balance defines the tone asked oil and gas exports. But the plans of the Government of Azerbaijan to withdraw from commodity specialization own economy fit perfectly in the pithiness of the Republic's balance of trade with the CIS countries. Unlike trade with EU countries, where prevails, the build-up of Azerbaijani oil exports exports in trade with its partners in the Commonwealth is more rational. The expansion of trade in goods with nesyr′evymi CIS countries is estimated by experts as a promising direction of development of the economy of Azerbaijan. The main trading partner of Azerbaijan in the CIS remains Russia, whose share accounts for about 2/3 turnover with the countries of the Commonwealth. The structure of Russian-Azerbaijani trade and economic relations remained sufficiently diversified. About 90% of Russian exports are products deep processing, which makes it less dependent on the world market of hydrocarbons and other raw materials. Mutual trade between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in total turnover with the CIS countries reaches 9.5%.

Thus, two current members of the EEMA Azerbaijan already made intensive level of trade and economic cooperation, the strengthening of which leads to the complementarity between the economies of Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. EEMA membership would give the Republic additional marketing opportunities private non-primary products. While Azerbaijan's oil and gas exports to the West could be continued without restriction. Promising seems to be consideration of Azerbaijan's membership in the Association EEMA, before which to adopt an appropriate package novvovedenij in the statutes of the Union.

The Eurasian area integration laid not only purely economic dividends. Involvement of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the single economic space promises a completely new possibilities for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The parties appear to have a unique chance to confront long-standing regain mutual trust and through the restoration of economic ties and humanitarian contacts reach a qualitatively new level of relations.

Vyacheslav MIKHAILOV

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