• 3 minutes Boris Johnson taken decision about 5G Huawei ban by delay (fait accompli method)
  • 6 minutes This Battery Uses Up CO2 to Create Energy
  • 13 minutes Shale Oil Fiasco
  • 3 mins Historian Slams Greta. I Don't See Her in Beijing or Delhi.
  • 38 mins We're freezing! Isn't it great? The carbon tax must be working!
  • 12 hours Indonesia Stands Up to China. Will Japan Help?
  • 2 hours US (provocations and tech containment) and Chinese ( restraint and long game) strategies in hegemony conflict
  • 26 mins Don't sneeze. Coronavirus is a threat to oil markets and global economies
  • 14 hours Tesla Will ‘Disappear’ Or ‘Lose 80%’ Of Its Value
  • 29 mins Beijing Must Face Reality That Taiwan is Independent
  • 5 hours Might be Time for NG Producers to Find New Career
  • 17 hours Environmentalists demand oil and gas companies *IN THE USA AND CANADA* reduce emissions to address climate change
  • 1 day Anti-Macron Protesters Cut Power Lines, Oil Refineries Already Joined Transport Workers as France Anti-Macron Strikes Hit France Hard
  • 3 mins Trump has changed into a World Leader
  • 1 day Angela Merkel take notice. Russia cut off Belarus oil supply because they would not do as Russia demanded
  • 1 day China's Economy and Subsequent Energy Demand To Decelerate Sharply Through 2024
Alt Text

This Emerging Oil Hotspot Threatens The OPEC Deal

Guyana has exported its first…

Alt Text

4 Promising Oil Trends To Watch In 2020

It’s no secret that energy…

Alt Text

Oil Bears Are Back As Demand Fears Go Viral

Demand fears, largely driven by…

Claude Salhani

Claude Salhani

Claude Salhani is the senior editor with Trend News Agency and is a journalist, author and political analyst based in Baku, specializing in the Middle…

More Info

Premium Content

Opportunity For Azerbaijan As Europe Seeks Alternative To Russian Energy

BAKU -- The last time Azerbaijan found itself at the center of geopolitics in a major way was when Nazi Germany was hoping to take over the important oil wells in this country. The fact that Germany was unable to grab the Azerbaijani oil wells was not for lack of trying on Adolf Hitler's part. Part of the reason for the Battle of Stalingrad was to secure the Baku oil fields.

Azerbaijan, at the time part of the Soviet Union, suffered tremendously because of the Second World War, known in the former Soviet space as the Great Patriotic War. It lost 210,000 soldiers and 90,000 civilians out of a total population of just over three million people, almost 10 percent of its population.

The memory of this tragedy is never too far from the minds of people in this region, who still recall the years of war, partial occupation and years of subjugation that followed, as the Cold War settled in and they found themselves on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.

Today Azerbaijan is in the forefront of global politics once again, albeit in a much more favorable position. The recent turmoil in Ukraine has repercussions far beyond its borders.

Europeans need Russia's gas, or failing that, they need to replace it. And the solution needs to be found sooner rather than later.

In the immediate future, the only two countries able to provide the amount of gas needed to replace Russian supplies are Turkmenistan and, to a lesser degree, Azerbaijan.

But Turkmenistan’s gas would need to pass through the Caspian Sea, via the Trans-Caspian pipeline, through Azerbaijan and onto Georgia, Turkey and only then to its final destinations.

This can only happen if Azerbaijan is willing to risk displeasing Moscow, and if Russia doesn’t overreact if Baku does.

Azerbaijan today holds particularly strategic importance to the Western alliance. Its oil and gas reserves are squarely at the center of the region’s politics and policies.

It might be worth reminding policymakers in the United States that the Russian border is only about 100 miles from Baku.

Relations between Washington and Baku are cordial but could be better; Washington wants to see more evidence of democratic progress, like civil rights and rule of law.

But after years of living under communist rule, democracy in this part of the world must be spoon-fed and advanced one baby step at a time, while a solid base is built on which to build democratic institutions. Rushing headfirst into a politically unknown future frightens many here, with good cause.

Considering the neighborhood it finds itself in, the risk of destabilization in Azerbaijan is a fear the leadership would rather not have to contend with. Iran to one side, to the other Armenia – with which Azerbaijan is, for all intents and purposes, in a state of war -- and then there is Russia, Armenia’s close ally.

The former Soviet countries of Central Asia, with their mélange of ethnicities, nationalities, religions and political leanings, are potentially explosive minefields, and one must tread very carefully.

Even so, while Russian is still widely spoken in Azerbaijan, and Russian culture is still very much alive, it is not difficult to see that people’s hearts lean very much towards the West and America.

Anyone in doubt of how much influence the United States has in this part of the world should simply look at the recent Eurovision Song Contest: Contestants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, and even Russia, all chose to sing in English, instead of their native languages.

By. Claude Salhani of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage




Leave a comment
  • rosputin on May 13 2014 said:
    aremenia needs a babysitter and what a better babysitter than Russia, armenia no wonder never grow ups, nato should get Azerbaijan under her umbrella, and get rid of Armenian diaspora once for ever.
  • oscar on May 14 2014 said:
    Azerbaijan is number 27th in terms of the gas reservoir fields in the world,,Russia is at the top of the list(48,600,000,000,000 c.m.),Iran is 2nd(33,600,000,000,000 c.m.),Azerbaijan is 27th (849,500,000,000),so I very much want to know how Azerbaijan would be a candidate to replace Russia in terms of a major gas supplier?
    the best candidate provided the negotiation of 5+1 progressed beyond the next stage would be Iran!


    find the list here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_natural_gas_proven_reserves
  • Nigar on May 19 2014 said:
    Russia and Iran do not wish Azerbaijan to become an alternative energy supplier to Europe. And they are ready for all sorts of provocation against Azerbaijan to prevent the export process. NATO and other structures must be attentive to neighbors of Azerbaijan.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play