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In the clutches of the Kremlin. Azerbaijan’s security policy. OSW COMMENTARY 222 2016-09-14

Jarosiewicz, Aleksandra (2016) In the clutches of the Kremlin. Azerbaijan’s security policy. OSW COMMENTARY 222 2016-09-14. [Policy Paper]

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    The changes which have been taking place over the past few years in Azerbaijan’s international environment and the growing concern about internal stability have led to President Ilham Aliyev’s regime to thoroughly revise the country’s security policy by establishing closer relations with Russia and opening up to co-operation with Iran. One consequence of this move was Azerbaijan’s victory in the so-called Four-Day War in Nagorno-Karabakh in April this year – a symbolic success in military terms which nevertheless brought about a real political breakthrough. Baku has chosen the political rapprochement with Russia because it has no other alternative. Over the past three years, Azerbaijan has revised its risk assessment and has reached the conclusion that the West cannot guarantee its security, Turkey’s policy is unpredictable, and the strengthening position of its traditional enemy, Iran, generates threats to Azerbaijan. The rapprochement with Russia is a tactical solution intended at helping maintain internal stability and to weather the unfavourable geopolitical, economic and social conditions. The co-operation with the Kremlin has brought tangible benefits: a new dynamic in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (beneficial to Azerbaijan); and a strengthening of the regime’s stability, which is necessary during a continuing economic slump. In strategic terms, closer relations with Russia in fact mean a withdrawal from the previous vision of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy based on co-operation with the West and Turkey. The consequences of this turn towards Russia will include a further bolstering of the authoritarian regime, restricting Azerbaijan’s political subjectivity and making it part of the geopolitical bloc being built by Russia in the post-Soviet area, for example, as part of the Eurasian Economic Union. The situation in Azerbaijan will also depend on the emerging anti-Western Russian-Iranian-Turkish concert of powers which Baku may also join.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Countries > Azerbaijan
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2016 15:05
    Number of Pages: 17
    Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 10:58

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