Registan’s Azerbaijan News & Analysis Archive

Since independence, Azerbaijan’s fortunes have been bolstered by its energy wealth. However, its war over control of Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved, fueling persistent tensions and risk of war with Armenia. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s relationships with Iran and Russia are often strained. Domestically, both pro-democracy activists and religious conservatives have been targeted by a government determined to remain the sole authority on social and political questions.

Several Registan authors and members of its network of experts have lived, worked, and studied in Azerbaijan and have between them decades of experience in academia, government, and private industry dealing with topics related to Azerbaijan. We use that experience and expertise to report on, contextualize, and analyze current events in Azerbaijan. Registan puts that experience to work to offer research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, visit our services page.

Recent Crackdown and Mass Protests do not Spell Political Reform in Azerbaijan

by Suzanne Rothman

Azerbaijan is a land of extraordinary riches. So vast are its oil reserves that natural fires burst from ground, leading ancients to believe the land was sacred. In modern times, the Azerbaijani government uses this natural wealth as a source of revenue. Today, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and other pipelines transport Azerbaijan’s oil to importers around the [...]

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It’s a Sea! 18 years after, the Caspian finally gets a legal status

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

Copyright RIA Novosti Against all odds, the 4th Caspian Summit that took place in Astrakhan on 29 September between the “Caspian Five” – the five littoral states of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan – ended with rather positive advances and, for once, unexpected breakthroughs. As President Putin declared after the Summit, “we agreed on [...]

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Islamic Banking Reaches the Post-Soviet Space

by Luke Rodeheffer
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I recently wrote a brief for Global Risk Insights on how Islamic Banking is rapidly spreading across Central Asia and the Caucasus: The interest in Russia for the regulation of Islamic Banking reflects an even greater interest in the sector across the post-Soviet space. The Post-Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan [...]

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Gender Equality in Azerbaijan: Interview with an Activist

by Suzanne Rothman

  Before departing from Baku, I met with Sabina, a Project Management Assistant at the Women’s Association for Rational Development (WARD) to talk about women’s issues and the feminist activism in Azerbaijan. Working at an organization dealing with women’s issues, Sabina offered not only an insider’s perspective but also an analytical understanding of what is [...]

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A New Eurasian Epoch, But No One Really Noticed

by Casey_Michel

Unless you’ve been watching the post-Soviet space with a keen eye, you likely missed the world’s-biggest-round-table signing last week. The meeting, held in Astana, heralded what Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed as a new “epoch” – the official founding of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), set to come into force on Jan. 1, 2015. But [...]

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Why Azerbaijani-Saudi Relations are Improving

by Suzanne Rothman

Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, Azerbaijan focused its foreign policy efforts on balancing relations between the major powers in the region and building strong ties to Europe. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia fine-tuned its foreign policy to bolster its long-standing alliance with the United States and to cement its influence in the [...]

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Checking in on Eurasian Union Struggles

by Casey_Michel

In late October, while meeting with other heads involved in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev turned to the topic of the forthcoming Eurasian Union. There had been hints and drops of Kazakhstani discontent with the EAU’s formulation – talk of business concerns, rumblings of ethno-based discontent. Nazarbayev decided to focus [...]

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Guest Post: Hungarian-Azeri-Armenian Relations: The Axe Factor

by Joshua Foust
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This is a guest post by Péter Marton. The act Ramil Safarov, a lieutenant in the Azerbaijani army, came to Budapest in 2004 to study English at a seminar organized by the Hungarian National Defense University in the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. There were participants of various nationalities attending the course, including [...]

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The Warming of the Caspian Cold War

by Casey_Michel
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The Caspian Sea first crept into the world’s cognizance sometime in 1873. Utilizing machinery constructed in nearby Bibi-Heybat Bay, jutting to the south of Baku, oil workers installed the world’s first offshore and machine-drilled wells, setting their engineering skills on the viscous black gold roiling underneath the Absheron peninsula. Gas-lit lamps and foreign nationals soon [...]

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The Decline and Fall of Matthew Bryza

by Joshua Foust
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While he was the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder advocated constantly for the construction of Nord Stream, an undersea natural gas pipeline that will travel from Russia, along the floor of the Baltic Sea, and end in Germany. It seemed like a great deal for Germany, to get a direct line to Russia’s vast energy wealth, [...]

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