Vol. 3, No. 12 (June 15, 2010)

The European Union and the South Caucasus: Available options and a strategic necessity

The South Caucasus region is important for Europe even if many Europeans do not yet recognize that reality.  It will be a place where many of our strategic goals, especially economic, will either succeed or fail.  And consequently, we in Europe need to develop special expertise on the region, get to know its leaders, and become familiar with their problems and prospects.  It has certainly caught my attention, and I want to share some of my impressions here. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the South Caucasus has known neither stability nor balance, and the challenge...
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Newly-approved military doctrine reaffirms Baku’s right to use force to liberate occupied territories

Six years after Baku began work on a military doctrine and three years after its National Security Doctrine required the elaboration of such a document but at a time when talks about the Karabakh conflict appear to have entered yet another lull, the Azerbaijani parliament on June 8th overwhelmingly approved, 110 to two with one abstention, an Azerbaijani military doctrine that reaffirms Azerbaijan’s right to use military force to liberate the occupied territories. In addition, the newly approved doctrine enshrines in the military sector President Ilham Aliyev’s “balanced” foreign...
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Converting petro wealth into sustainable human development

Azerbaijan’s economy has grown at an unprecedented rate during the last decade, with real GDP increases averaging 21 percent between 2005 and 2009 alone.  This spectacular growth reflects a major expansion of the oil and gas production and significant increases in public spending for both infrastructure and social needs.  As a result, Azerbaijan’s economy exceeded its 1991 level in 2005 and ranked fourth in the CIS in per capita income.  And it was one of the few post-Soviet states whose sovereign rating has risen to investment grade, clear testimony not only of the co...
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