Azerbaijan’s Risky Game between Russia and the West

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Series Details No.134 (No.32, October 2015)
Publication Date 02/10/2015
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The Polish Institute of International Affairs is an analytical institution established by an act of Parliament in 1996 to carry out research and provide expertise in international affairs. PISM disseminates information on contemporary international issues and maintains contacts with academic and political centres in Poland and abroad. The Institute runs courses for public servants, maintains a library (open to the public; 165,000 books and journals), organises conferences, and publishes books, periodicals and documents on Polish foreign policy and international matters.

The funding for PISM comes from the budget. The director is appointed by the prime minister for a term of five years, following consultation with the minister of foreign affairs. The minister supervises the Institute and appoints its advisory council, which includes a representative of the President of the Republic of Poland, academics and officials.Azerbaijan recently had to face a wave of criticism from the European institutions (the OSCE and the European Parliament) due to its government’s undemocratic practices. In response, Baku accused its European partners of Islamophobia and declared the suspension of parliamentary cooperation in the framework of the EU’s Euronest. The Azerbaijani ruling elite also blames the West of supporting a “fifth column” in Azerbaijan (meaning civil society organisations) as well as of giving political support to its arch-enemy Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At the same time authorities in Baku are displaying their developing political partnership with Russia. This paper examines the consequences of the crisis in relations between the EU and Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani-Russian rapprochement for the prospects for EU-Azerbaijan energy projects and regional security in the South Caucasus.

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