Michael B. Bishku
Dr. Bishku is a professor of history at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia.
With the break-up of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, three republics in the South Caucasus — Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan — achieved independence for the second time during the twentieth century (their first experience, following the Russian Revolution, had been contentious and short-lived). Located at the crossroads of Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the republics have depended for their political and economic security on the balancing of relations with both their regional neighbors and the major powers. Their foreign policy has been shaped by concerns over territorial integrity, ethnic brethren residing abroad, trade routes and historical memory.
This article will examine the respective relations of the South Caucasus republics with both the United States and the European Union (EU). Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are members of the Council of Europe, which includes Russia, Turkey and every country on the continent as generally defined by geographers except for Belarus and Kosovo; the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Israel and the Holy See have observer status in that organization.1 Each country in the South Caucasus has adopted its own unique approach toward the West. After achieving independence from Russia, Georgia sought close ties with the United States and its Western allies. These connections, especially within the last decade, have included a continued quest for full membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU. While Armenia has sought good relations with the United States and the EU, it has also had the closest political and economic ties with Russia of the three republics; it tends to regard itself as a "bridge" between East and West.2 It has also maintained excellent relations with Iran, but still has no formal ties with Turkey.3 Azerbaijan during its first decade of independence sought close relations with the West, but in recent years, as its human-rights record has not improved, it has gradually distanced itself politically and embraced membership in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which includes many countries in the Islamic world. At the same time, relations with Russia have improved,4 and those with Israel, which are quite secretive, are close.5
GENERAL RELATIONS WITH THE U.S. AND EU
Geographic location has forced each South Caucasus republic to balance its relations with the West and other neighboring countries. This has not been an easy task; there is limited cooperation among the republics themselves, and Armenia and Azerbaijan are in a so-called "frozen conflict" over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, over which Russia has sought to gain political and economic leverage. Russia also supported militarily the secession from Georgia of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is as well the source of remittances sent back home by millions of ethnic Georgians (800,000),6 Armenians (2.5 million)7 and Azerbaijanis (2 million).8 Moreover, many countries in Europe are heavily dependent upon imports of natural gas from Russia, which has the world's largest reserves.9 To balance Russian influence, the South Caucasus republics have membership in both regional and international political, economic and military organizations (discussed below).
Ethnic brethren residing in foreign countries are an important consideration in foreign policy. Over the last two decades since independence, approximately 1 to 1.2 million ethnic Georgians emigrated from their country to other parts of the former Soviet Union and Western countries. The largest number, outside of Russia, settled in Greece (300,000), the United States (100,000), Ukraine (50,000 or more), Spain (30,000), the United Kingdom (15,000), and Austria (10,000). In addition, approximately 60,000 immigrated to Turkey, and 9,000 moved to Israel, which had been receiving Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet republic since the 1970s. 10 Of the South Caucasus republics, Armenia has historically had the most sizable diaspora. The United States has the largest estimated population (1,400,000) of ethnic Armenians in Western countries, followed by France (450,000), Ukraine (100,000), Australia (50,000), Germany (42,000), Canada (40,000), Bulgaria (30,000), Greece (20,000) and the United Kingdom (18,000). There are also sizable numbers of Armenians in Iran and Arab countries in the Middle East, especially Lebanon and Syria, although the latter country's civil war has caused many to flee to neighboring states or Armenia.11 Between 500,000 and a million Azeris live in Turkey and 15-20 million in Iran; the largest populations elsewhere are much smaller in number, though sizable enough, in Ukraine, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, with many immigrating to these countries from Turkey and Iran.12 Azerbaijani Jews have also immigrated to Israel and, like some of their counterparts from Georgia, invest in their country of origin. Interest groups in the United States such as the American Jewish Committee continue to support Azerbaijan despite concerns about human-rights violations.13
In 2008, as a result of its war with Russia, Georgia withdrew from the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), whose membership includes all the former Soviet republics except the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Along with its South Caucasus neighbors and Russia, Georgia is a member of the Istanbul-based Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization, which also includes Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. EU members Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Slovakia are observer states, along with the United States, Belarus, Egypt, Israel and Tunisia.14 Georgia was formally rejected (along with Ukraine) in 2007 for NATO membership, given European reluctance to agitate Russia, but Georgia and its South Caucasus neighbors are members of that organization's Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Other non-NATO states that signed on to PfP include EU members Austria, Finland, Ireland, Malta, and Sweden as well as Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.15
While Armenia is connected with the PfP program, it is also part of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), whose membership includes Belarus and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; Georgia and Azerbaijan withdrew in 1999, while Uzbekistan suspended its membership in 2012.16 Azerbaijan joined the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 2011. Its membership also includes Belarus, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, while Armenia is an observer in that 120-member organization, along with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine.17 Azerbaijan has been a member of the Tehran-based Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) since 1992; other members include the former Soviet Central Asian republics, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.18 Also, since 1991, Azerbaijan has been a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a Saudi-inspired group of 57 countries located mostly in Africa and Asia, including secular states such as Turkey, Albania and all the Central Asian republics; Russia is one of five observer states.19
Economic benefit and political support in territorial disputes are the motivations for the South Caucasus republics joining these organizations. Multilateral ties can also be used to varying degrees to counteract the possible influence of outside powers and neighboring countries in a state's internal affairs. Georgia is most concerned about the actions and intentions of Russia; it also wants to maintain its position as a transportation route for oil and natural gas as well as other trade, especially the export of its agricultural products. Armenia is the weakest economically of the three countries, possessing few natural resources and little industry, and its land borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed. However, Armenia has the most politically influential diaspora community in the West, although it is heavily dependent on Russia both economically and in matters of defense. Azerbaijan wants to continue to efficiently export its hydrocarbons (even via Russia if it is of economic benefit or politically helpful regarding the conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh). At the same time, it is most resistant to Western criticism of its governance and disturbed by Iranian interference in its internal religious affairs.
Georgia's "National Security Concept" document, written sometime after the European Parliament adopted a resolution on November 17, 2011, calling upon the EU to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as "occupied territories," states:
As a Black Sea and Southeastern European country, Georgia is part of Europe geographically, politically and culturally; yet it was cut off from its natural course of development by historical cataclysms. Integration into NATO and the EU is Georgia's sovereign choice, one which will strengthen Georgia's security and ensure its stable development.
Since the restoration of Georgia's independence, the U.S. has actively supported Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, the strengthening of its democratic institutions, the development of its market economy, and the country's full integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. Georgia continues to deepen its strategic partnership with the U.S.... [, whose] financial support ... has been very important.... In particular, the $1 billion in aid provided after the 2008 Russian aggression....
Georgia also has "strategic partnerships" with Azerbaijan and Ukraine, while Turkey is that country's "leading partner in the region."20 However, as Charles King points out, the South Caucasus "remains a feared and poorly understood specter at the edge of Europe's thinking about its own future." Yet like the United States, the EU is primarily concerned with oil and gas, security, "and the building of political systems [in the Caucasus] that pass for democracies,"21 even if the last issue has generally been given less emphasis than the other two.
Regarding democracy, Georgia has had the best record of all the states in the South Caucasus, although it is labeled as "partly free," rating a three in the 2015 Freedom House annual report, similar to Albania but better than Turkey, in both political rights and civil liberties — with 1 being the most free and 7 being the least.22 On Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014, Georgia ranked 50 out of 175 countries, ahead of Turkey (64) and seven EU members (the Czech Republic , Slovakia , Croatia  and Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania, tied for 69).23 Georgia pursues mutually beneficial ties with all countries according to "the norms and principles of international law" and is "willing to have good-neighborly relations" with Russia "based on the principle of equality."24
Despite Georgia's aspiration to join the EU, its largest trading partners in 2013 for exports were Azerbaijan (25 percent), Armenia (11 percent), Ukraine (7 percent), Turkey (6 percent) and Russia (6 percent); for imports they were Turkey (17 percent), Ukraine (8 percent), Azerbaijan (8 percent), Russia (7 percent), and China (7 percent). Georgia's exports — largely agricultural products, wine and metals — are obviously in demand by its neighbors, for their own use or for re-export; its most important imports are fuel and machinery.25 Georgia's greatest needs are Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which declined following its 2008 war with Russia, and security guarantees. These can be provided by the EU, the United States and NATO, but beyond that, Georgia has a historical affinity with the West. In an opinion poll taken by the Caucasus Research Resource Center in Georgia in 2011, 44 percent felt that the United States was the "biggest friend" of their country; 25 percent did not know, 5 percent responded Ukraine, and 4 percent each answered Azerbaijan and Russia.26 This is understandable, given the experiences of the 2008 war with Russia; the United States was more supportive of Georgia politically in that conflict than was the EU, but could provide no direct military assistance. Ukraine, for its part, has generally shared with Georgia aspirations to increase ties with Europe and the West, and it is currently facing similar threats from Russia regarding its territorial integrity.
In January 1920, Noe Jordania, president of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-21), told his country's Constituent Assembly: "Our life today and our life in the future is ... indissolubly tied to the West, and no force can break this bond."27 After Jordania was forced into exile in France the following year — where he died in 1953 — Georgia once again fell under Russian control, but his pronouncement became its guiding policy following the collapse of the Soviet Union and has continued through changes in government. On April 23, 1992, the United States established diplomatic relations with Georgia; a number of EU member states did so around the same time or shortly afterward. However, Georgia was in the midst of one conflict over South Ossetia (1991-92) that was coming to a conclusion and another over Abkhazia that was just beginning (1992-93). Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze returned to his native country in March 1992, a few months after the human-rights activist-turned autocratic nationalist leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia was overthrown. Shevardnadze took over as chairman of the state council, a post he held until November 1995, when he became president. He was well-liked by Western leaders, but having good relations with Russian President Boris Yeltsin was the most important concern. While German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, on a visit to Tbilisi in April 1992, stated, "Germany and Georgia are two parts of Europe which have been overcoming military and political confrontation," European policies as late as 1998 were described by an astute scholar of the Caucasus as "benevolent indifference."28 Moreover, that same scholar contends, "The European Union does not regard Georgia as belonging to Europe, but rather a part of a region bridging Europe and Asia."29 American and European involvement was designed to avoid annoying Russia, so as not to jeopardize reforms in that country.
Georgians regarded the Abkhazian conflict, which has parallels with the current one in Ukraine, as a "war against Russia,"30 as Russian "volunteers" and arms were then, and are now, being used to prop up separatists.31 In South Ossetia, while some 10,000 refugees fled to either North Ossetia in Russia or to Georgia proper, a number of ethnically-mixed villages survived the war. By contrast, the conflict in Abkhazia resulted in the ethnic cleansing of some 230,000 Georgians.32 The United States and the European Union did not come to Georgia's defense, and Russia was able to force Georgia into making further political concessions. In South Ossetia, a Russian-led joint peace-keeping force was established to maintain the ceasefire. Abkhazia became politically autonomous; 3,000 CIS peacekeepers were stationed there, while along the border the United Nations established a 136-man Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) to maintain the ceasefire. The UN mandate came to an end in June 2009 following the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia, which led to Russia's recognition of the "independence" of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia was forced to join the CIS in late 1993 — only withdrawing following the 2008 war — as well as the CSTO in 1994, to which it belonged for five years. Georgia was required to let Russia station troops at four military bases, the last of which was only evacuated in 2007; one remains in Abkhazia. However, by 1995, Russia and Georgia began to drift apart. Shevardnadze found himself "increasingly under attack in Russia, perceived as one of the main gravediggers of the Soviet Union, an unpardonable sin for a Russian elite increasingly dominated by revanchism."33 Following the Second Chechen War (1999-2000), Vladimir Putin, who had succeed Yeltsin to the presidency of Russia during that conflict, accused Georgia of aiding the rebels in their insurrection and threatened retaliation.34 Shevardnadze was eventually forced to resign in the "Rose Revolution" of November 2003, the result of domestic protests triggered by electoral fraud, economic mismanagement and corruption. Mikheil Saakashvili was elected president in January 2004 with little opposition. Western-sponsored exit polls concluded that he had received 86 percent of the vote; the official results released 10 days later put it at just over 95 percent.35
In July 1999, the EU finally implemented a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Georgia (as well as separate ones with the other two South Caucasus republics). The United States and EU had previously launched broad initiatives under the Freedom of Support Act and TACIS.36 These programs were designed to provide financial and technical assistance to former Soviet republics in order to promote domestic democratic and market reforms as well as to facilitate cooperation with the West. In May 2009, the EU launched the Eastern Partnership, which was "a specific Eastern dimension" of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) established six years earlier. It includes the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership,37 designed to "seek to support political and socio-economic reforms of the partner countries, facilitating approximation toward the European Union."38 Besides the three South Caucasus Republics, the program includes Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. According to two knowledgeable observers, while the Eastern Partnership has allowed the EU to act as "an agent for domestic change (at least in Georgia, to some degree in Armenia and to a much lesser extent in Azerbaijan),...the EU is only as influential as the South Caucasus states allow it to be. Reforms often remain shallow, and local elites carefully calculate the short-term costs against longer-term (and vaguer) benefits."39 By June 2014, Georgia (Moldova and Ukraine) had signed Association Agreements with the EU — replacing earlier Partnership and Cooperation Agreements — allowing for the liberalization of trade relations in return for continued improvement in the areas of human rights and democracy, strengthening the rule of law and market reforms, and fighting corruption.40 These neither offered nor precluded future candidacy for membership. Despite the criticism above, Stephen Jones points out that the Europeans have been quite generous. Between 1992 and 2007, besides individual countries' bilateral aid, the EU spent more than €500 million on humanitarian and technical assistance to Georgia. And, once again, although they did not come to Georgia's defense in the Russia-Georgia War of August 2008, they promised an additional €500 million for postwar rehabilitation.41
Meanwhile, the American government has provided Georgia with more than $1.5 billion, largely through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).42 Washington also established a Strategic Partnership Commission in January 2009, composed of four bilateral groups to deal with the following issues: 1) democracy promotion, 2) defense and security, 3) trade and energy issues, and 4) people-to-people and cultural exchanges.43 FDI in Georgia for 2013 was just over $1 billion, the most attractive sectors being transportation and communications, industry, real estate and construction, and hydroelectric power. The United States and the Netherlands have been some of the top investors along with Turkey and Azerbaijan.44 The U.S. Department of State website sums up relations with Georgia in the following manner:
Since 1991, Georgia has made impressive progress fighting corruption, developing modern state institutions, and enhancing global security. The United States is committed to helping Georgia deepen Euro-Atlantic ties and strengthen its democratic institutions. The United States supports Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and does not recognize the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia, currently occupied by Russia, as independent.45
This summary uses the most positive and supportive language found in all the fact sheets discussing U.S. ties with the South Caucasus republics. Ironically, Georgia's change from a presidential to a parliamentary system of government, which critics saw as a means for Saakashvili to stay in power after his presidential term ended, resulted in the first peaceful transfer of power between the government and the opposition through an election since independence from the Soviet Union took place in October 2013.46
In Armenia's "National Security Strategy" document, posted on the Foreign Ministry website and approved by its National Security Council on January 26, 2007, only one country, Russia, is described as being in a "strategic partnership." Russian military presence is considered necessary for guarding Armenia's borders and for the "preservation of the political and military balance in the region." At the same time, Armenia's relationship with the United States is "continuing to develop dynamically," because of the important role that America plays "in regional and global military-political and economic processes and international relations." As for the EU, "close relations ... serve Armenia's long-term interests," while those with Iran contribute to "maintaining balance and stability in the region." Indeed, as land borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan remain closed, Georgia, with which it has "friendly relations," and Iran, with which it cooperates in the energy sector and shares "historic and cultural ties," are important "partners." Armenia's largest trading partners in 2012 for exports were Russia (19.6 percent), Germany (10.7 percent), Bulgaria (9.1 percent), Belgium (8.9 percent), Iran (6.9 percent), the United States (6.1 percent), Canada (6 percent), Georgia (5.7 percent), the Netherlands (5.6 percent), and Switzerland (5 percent). Its import partners were Russia (20 percent), Germany (11 percent), Bulgaria (9 percent), Belgium (9 percent), Iran (6.5 percent), the United States (6.1 percent), Canada (5.9 percent), the Netherlands (5.6 percent), Georgia (5.6 percent), and Switzerland (5.2 percent).47 While Armenia is very dependent upon Russia economically — many of its industries are Russian-owned or managed — it has a more diverse group of trading partners, including EU member states. It is most likely aided by its diaspora and the fact that, besides exporting metals, it does a lucrative business in selling cut and polished diamonds that come in rough from Russia duty-free.48 Armenia also imports oil, natural gas and agricultural products.
The main principle involved in Armenia's external-security strategy and international relations is described as "complementarity"; it is, according to the "National Security Strategy" document, "aimed at maintaining an overall balance in the region."49 On the other hand, Vartan Oskanian, who received his graduate education in the United States and was Armenia's foreign minister from 1998 to 2008, felt uncomfortable using the word "balance" before an American audience in 2004:
We do not see a contradiction between our cooperation with the United States and Russia. With Russia of course it's much deeper.... A policy of balance requires that what you do with one try to do equally with the other so that you create a balance. Complementarity gives us the opportunity to have an asymmetrical relation with two different powers. We can do 80 percent with one and complement your [sic] security needs with the 20 that you [sic] do with the other side, and the two together will add up to one hundred and provide a better shield for Armenia.
Regarding the European Union, he had this to say:
[W]hen the EU puts pressure on the three Caucasus countries to engage in regional cooperation — because the EU looks at the Caucasus as one unit — that's our advantage.... So that will help us to create a more favorable environment within which we can address the more problematic issues such as the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The Georgians can view the Abkhaz issue, the Ossetian issue, what have you.50
Oskanian's assessment seems to ignore Russia's involvement in Georgian affairs even before its 2008 war with Georgia. Nevertheless, having greater connections with Russia is quite popular in Armenia. When asked in an opinion poll conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Center in Armenia in 2011 which country is their "biggest friend", 81 percent felt that it was Russia, 5 percent responded France, 4 percent answered Georgia and 1 percent said the United States.51 In their historical memory, the Western European powers and the United States were not responsive enough to the political situation of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the latter part of the nineteenth century or during World War I and its aftermath, while Russia protected their interests. In recent years, though, there is some ambivalence at times on the part of Armenian leaders; Russia is still regarded as Armenia's protector due to historic, cultural and religious links.52 France adopted a law in 2001 that "recognizes the Armenian genocide as fact"; there has even been support across the political spectrum to make it a crime to deny this event.53 Russia, some other European countries and Canada confer the same recognition, but the United States does not.54
While Armenia depends heavily upon Russia, its political system is freer, though not as free as Georgia's. Armenia is regarded as "partly free" by Freedom House, having ratings of 5 and 4 in political rights and civil liberties, respectively, comparable to Morocco and Lebanon.55 On Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2014, Armenia ranked 94, tied with Egypt.56 The political influence of the Armenian diaspora seems to insulate Armenia somewhat from possible Western criticism over governance and connections with Russia and Iran. During the 1990s, while Armenia was able to militarily take control of Nagorno-Karabakh and some additional lands comprising about 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, the Armenian lobby in the United States was able to influence Congress to enact Section 907. This prevented Azerbaijan, due to its blockade of Armenia, from receiving direct government aid under the Freedom Support Act of 1992, designed to assist all republics in the former Soviet Union.
Despite those restrictions, U.S. (and European) oil companies showed a great interest in Azerbaijan's hydrocarbon reserves, while Georgia took advantage of its geographical position to act as a transport route to the West for oil and natural gas. In the meantime, Armenia continued to be blockaded by Azerbaijan and excluded from some regional transportation and pipeline projects. Following 9/11, President George W. Bush used his authority to invoke waivers of Section 907 in the interest of national security. Armenia faced a severe economic crisis during its early years of independence: a devastating earthquake in 1988 left many people homeless and regions in need of reconstruction, and the war in Nagorno-Karabakh exacerbated the situation. Armenia depended heavily upon financial support from the diaspora community, while its foreign debt increased dramatically. It was not until 1995 that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development57 provided some $65 million for structural market reforms.
Levon Ter-Petrosyan, originally a member of the Karabakh Committee, whose goal was the incorporation of the province into Armenia, was popularly elected in 1991 as that country's president. Five years later, he stood accused of rigging his reelection. However, it was his willingness to show flexibility regarding a political solution in Nagorno-Karabakh and to de-emphasize the importance of "genocide" recognition for the sake of improving Armenia's economic situation and political position in the region by developing economic relations with Turkey that caused his downfall. The diaspora and many officers in Ter-Petrosyan's government, including Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan, who would succeed him as president, rejected his approach, and he was compelled to resign in February 1998.58 In October 2009, during the administration of Kocharyan's successor and the current president, Serzh Sargsyan, the Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed two protocols designed to establish diplomatic relations and open borders, which still have not been approved by their respective parliaments. Following the ceremony at the University of Zurich — attended by U.S. Secretary of State of State Hillary Clinton, Javier Solana (the high representative for common foreign and security policy for the EU) and the foreign ministers of Russia (Sergei Lavrov) and France (Bernard Kouchner) — Sargsyan received chilly receptions from diaspora Armenians during visits to France, the United States and Lebanon. Azerbaijan reminded Turkey of its earlier promises of diplomatic support and strongly expressed its opposition to opening the Turkish-Armenian border until the Armenians withdrew from "occupied Azerbaijani territories."59 It is apparent that the United States and the EU have little or no leverage over Armenia (and Azerbaijan) and that, while Russia would like to see rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia, the frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh suits its interest in pitting Armenia and Azerbaijan against each another.
On January 7, 1992, before it had done so with the other South Caucasus republics, the United States established diplomatic relations with Armenia; a number of EU member states did so around the same time or within the next year. Over the next two months (February and March 1992), respectively, Washington and Yerevan exchanged ambassadors. Armenia also opened a consulate in Los Angeles in 1995. The U.S. Department of State website sums up relations with Armenia as follows:
The United States values its relationship with Armenia, which is rooted in mutual respect and shared interests. U.S. policy seeks to further Armenia's development of democratic institutions which respect human rights and the rule of law, and economic institutions which promote widely shared economic growth and provide its citizens with access to effective health and social services. Together, the two countries work to reduce poverty, expand trade and investment, promote the work of civil society groups, and broaden access to healthcare. The United States supports efforts to peacefully resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, reopen the closed borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey, and promote regional stability, peace, and prosperity.60
Armenia's Foreign Ministry website acknowledges that the United States "plays an important role in the political and economic life of Armenia."61 Indeed, during the 1990s, the United States provided Armenia with about $1 billion in assistance. Based on 2010-11 averages, the U.S. government, largely through USAID, was the single largest donor to Armenia — providing $93 million that fiscal year, followed by the EU ($64 million) and International Monetary Fund ($58 million); Germany provided $31 million, France only $5 million.62 FDI in Armenia in 2013 was $370 million. Over the years, Russia, France, Germany, the United States and Canada have been the top investors, the most important sectors being mining, telecommunications and energy. However, "Armenia's small market size, contradictory laws and regulations, lack of dispute resolution mechanisms, corruption, and transportation issues are serious constraints."63 Indeed, 70 percent of Armenia's trade is conducted via Georgian territory due to Turkey's and Azerbaijan's blockades and limited access by land to Iran. During the Russia-Georgia war of 2008, Armenia's economy lost an estimated $600 million.64 Furthermore, in order to pay off external debts, Armenia has either transferred or sold a very large share of its energy sector to Russian interests.
In October 2014, Armenia formally joined the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU, whose members also include Belarus and Kazakhstan), a little over a year after suspending negotiations for an Association Agreement with the EU. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has insisted that membership would "give new impetus to economic progress in our country"; Armenian manufacturers, especially food-processing companies, would be more competitive in the EEU-member states' markets than in Europe, even though the EU accounts for more of Armenia's exports than states in the EEU. However, some of his allies have implied that it has more to do with security concerns; Armenia is heavily dependent upon Russia for weapons, supplied mostly free of charge, in order to continue to hold on to Nagorno-Karabakh.65 Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan has stated that Armenia strives "to serve as a bridge" between the EEU and the EU, something that seems technically impossible.66 However, Armenia wants to continue receiving economic and technical assistance from the EU, which has expressed a willingness to provide it.67
Azerbaijan's "National Security Concept" document, approved by the president on May 23, 2007, is no longer posted on its Foreign Ministry website but offers insight into its strategic concerns, even if it is no longer willing to pay lip service to the West on human rights. Azerbaijan emphasizes that its goal is to pursue a "multidimensional and balanced foreign policy," and it describes ties with Turkey, Georgia, Russia and the United States as "strategic partnerships." It also states that "Close cooperation ... with the European Union will contribute to the stability in the Caucasus." As for Iran and the disputes concerning Caspian Sea boundaries and cooperation with Israel, Azerbaijan "attaches great importance to its relations," in part as the two countries "share a common and rich historical heritage,"68 and as a sizable Azeri population lives in Iran.
However, since the "National Security Concept" was published, relations with the United States and the EU have deteriorated. On December 30, 2008, Azerbaijan banned the broadcasts of the BBC, Radio Liberty and the Voice of America. Since then, the European Parliament has adopted a series of resolutions, the last on September 18, 2014, condemning Azerbaijan's human-rights record, which has included the freezing of bank accounts of nongovernmental agencies and the arrest and imprisonment of civil-society activists, journalists and members of the political opposition. A few days later, in a speech on September 23, President Barack Obama included Azerbaijan "in a list of the world's worst human rights violators."69 However, as one informed commentator noted, neither the United States nor the EU has any leverage on Azerbaijan; that country's government "is not in need of money as they are in Georgia, Armenia or Ukraine."70
Furthermore, due to Azerbaijan's oil and natural-gas reserves and strategic location, both the United States and the EU are unwilling to institute targeted sanctions against Azerbaijani government officials. Naturally, according to Freedom House, Azerbaijan is categorized as being "not free," having a rating of 6 in both political rights and civil liberties, similar to Russia and Iran but better than Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.71 On Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014, Azerbaijan ranked 126, tied with Kazakhstan and Pakistan but ahead of Iran and Russia, both at 136.72 Oil and natural gas, which account for about 90 percent of its exports — the rest is primarily in cotton and foodstuffs — allow the Azerbaijani government to act in an autocratic manner. Its largest trading partners in 2013 for exports were Italy (25 percent), Indonesia (11.6 percent), Thailand (7 percent), Germany (5.7 percent), Israel (5.3 percent), France (4.7 percent), India (4.6 percent), Russia (4.5 percent) and the United States (4.1 percent); those for imports were Russia (14.1 percent), Turkey (13.7 percent), the United Kingdom (12.5 percent), Germany (7.7 percent), Ukraine (5.5 percent), China (5.3 percent), and France (4 percent). Azerbaijan imports machinery and equipment for extracting hydrocarbons, chemicals, metals and foodstuffs.73 As for how Azerbaijanis feel about other countries, in an opinion poll conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Center in Azerbaijan in 2011, 90 percent felt that Turkey was the "biggest friend" of their country; 2 percent answered Russia.74 During World War I, the Ottoman Empire supported Azerbaijani nationalists, a number of whom sought refuge in Turkey as a result of the Communist takeover of their country in 1920. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Turkey has continued to be a steadfast supporter of Azerbaijan, generally, and in its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Turkey was quick to take advantage of the breakup of the Soviet Union to increase its political and economic influence in the South Caucasus, especially in Azerbaijan (as well as Turkic Central Asia), with the encouragement of the United States. At the time, Turkey was seen as a model of a secular democratic government, and pan-Turkism was on the rise — as it had been around the time of World War I. In Azerbaijan, Abulfaz Elchibey — who was elected president in June 1992 and would serve until he was overthrown following setbacks in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh — promoted pan-Turkism along with a pro-Western and anti-Iranian agenda. He was replaced by Haydar Aliyev, the former Communist boss in Nakhichevan, who was succeeded by his son and current leader Ilham just before his death in late 2000. Aliyev continued to develop good relations with Turkey while repairing those with Russia — used by Azerbaijan to balance Iran — by rejoining the CIS, although Russian troops withdrawn during Elchibey's tenure did not return. In May 1994, a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement was signed. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE, the United States, Canada, all the countries in Europe as well as the former Soviet republics and Turkey), but more specifically the Minsk Group under the chairmanship of representatives from France, Russia and the United States, is charged with finding a political solution to the conflict.75 Unlike the cases of the conflicts in Georgia, no Russian or CIS peacekeeping presence was established.
While Turkey was the first country to recognize Azerbaijan's independence in November 1991, the United States established diplomatic relations with Baku on February 28, 1992. A number of EU member states did so shortly afterward or within the next year. During March 1992, the United States and Azerbaijan exchanged ambassadors. Just over two years later, in September 1994, Azerbaijan signed an investment agreement, estimated at the time to be worth $7.4 billion, with several foreign concerns, creating the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC). Together with the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), which had a 20 percent share (with royalties, ensuring Azerbaijan 80 percent of the total profits), the consortium led by the second-largest shareholder, British Petroleum (BP), included companies from the United States, Russia, Norway, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.76 Iran was promised a 1 percent share in the consortium, but the offer was subsequently withdrawn due to pressure from Washington. Currently, AIOC's shareholders besides BP (35.8 percent) and SOCAR (11.6 percent) include Chevron (11.3 percent) and ExxonMobil (8 percent) as well as companies from Norway, Turkey, Japan and India. As a concession to Russia and the fact that the Baku-Supsa Pipeline to Georgia was not completed until early the following year, the first oil was sent via pipeline through Chechnya to Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in January 1998. BP's other co-ventures in Azerbaijan are the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, of which its share is 30.1 percent, followed by Azerbaijan BTC (25 percent) — including Chevron (8.9 percent), ConocoPhillips (2.5 percent), Italy's ENI and France's Total (5 percent each) as well as companies from Norway, Turkey, Japan and India — and the South Caucasus (or Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum) natural gas pipeline, of which BP's share is 28.8 percent, opened in July and December 2006, respectively. Other shareholders in the South Caucasus pipeline include SOCAR's Azerbaijan SCP (10 percent) and SGC Midstream (6.7 percent) and companies from Norway, Turkey, Russia and Iran. The BTC is supplied currently by six oil platforms owned by AIOC, while the Southern Caucasus pipeline is supplied by the Shah Deniz field, both located in the Caspian Sea. Shareholders in the natural-gas field include BP (28.8 percent), SOCAR's Azerbaijan SD (10 percent) and SGC Upstream (6.7 percent) as well as companies from Norway, Turkey, Russia and Iran.77 In sum, Western companies have a large stake in the Caspian Sea's oil and gas production, although Russia continues to control many of the pipelines that supply European countries. As a result, the EU has been reluctant to do more than have targeted sanctions against Russia in reaction to its aggression in Ukraine — and nothing regarding Georgia back in 2008 — or to criticize human-rights violations in Azerbaijan. Given its oil and gas reserves, Azerbaijan is not dependent upon foreign aid, unlike Georgia and Armenia. At the same time, given the world's hunger for hydrocarbons, it can depend on continued foreign investment and cooperation with the West in security matters due to its geographic location.
The U.S. Department of State website sums up relations with Azerbaijan in the following manner:
The United States is committed to strengthening democracy and the formation of an open market economy in Azerbaijan. It stands to gain benefits from an Azerbaijan that is peaceful, democratic, prosperous, and strategically linked to the United States and U.S. allies in Europe. The United States seeks new ways to partner with Azerbaijan to promote regional security and stability, enhance energy security, and strengthen economic and political reforms.78
Of course, the document also reiterates U.S. policy of seeking a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and reopening the border with Armenia. Despite Section 907, the United States provided some financial assistance during the 1990s, and to date, USAID has given more than $350 million for humanitarian relief, health issues, and economic and democratic reforms. Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani government has contributed $20 million for economic reforms79 and in 2011 established the Azerbaijan International Development Agency, which, with the Islamic Development Bank, has provided aid for health projects in Africa as well as disaster relief in Asia. In return, Azerbaijan has received support in recognition of the Khojaly massacre in February 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, in which hundreds of civilians were killed by Armenian forces.80 As for EU aid to Azerbaijan, some €335 million have been provided for humanitarian and technical assistance.81 In an interview in December 2014, Azerbaijan's minister for foreign affairs, Elmar Mammadyarov, emphasized that U.S.-Azerbaijani relations were "characterized" by his country's "contributions to global energy security, [the] fight against terrorism and transnational threats, logistical, transit and financial support to [the] Afghan mission" and implored that the United States pay more attention to the "violation of basic human rights of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs [internally displaced persons] ... as a result of Armenian aggression." Regarding the EU, he also emphasized Azerbaijan's role in "ensuring" Europe's energy security and in the fight against terrorism.82 Azerbaijan currently contributes 94 troops to NATO's training and assistance program Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan that replaced the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as of January 1, 2015. However, it is the smallest of the South Caucasus units; Armenia contributes 121 and Georgia provides the largest at 885, more than any NATO member except the United States.83 Azerbaijan contributed the same to ISAF, while Armenia provided 10 more troops and Georgia nearly twice its RSM contribution: 1,561 troops.84
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt viewed Azerbaijan's position as a member of the EU's Eastern Partnership from a different perspective: "How do we treat Azerbaijan and Belarus in terms of their somewhat lukewarm commitment to human rights, to put it mildly?"85 Meanwhile, FDI in Azerbaijan is the largest of all three South Caucasus states: $2.6 billion in 2013.86 Not surprisingly, over the years, the United Kingdom and the United States have been the largest contributors to the oil sector. As for the non-oil-and-gas sector, between 1993 and 2010, it accounted for 12 percent of the inflow, the largest amount going to industry, followed by construction, trade and service and transport: Turkey has been the largest contributor, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.87
While the South Caucasus republics all attempt to balance their foreign policies, Georgia is the most committed to joining Europe, not only feeling it in spirit but also in action. Much political and economic reform has taken place in Georgia, especially since the Rose Revolution of 2003, but it has much more to accomplish if it is ever to be considered a candidate for EU membership. With Turkey's candidacy floundering, that seems highly unlikely. NATO is another matter, if the Europeans — in particular the older members — can overcome their reluctance to accept a country involved in territorial disputes, especially involving Russia, which supports Abkhazia's independence and perhaps will eventually annex South Ossetia. Georgia certainly has U.S. support. While Armenia views itself as a bridge between East and West, its membership in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization and recently in the Eurasian Economic Union complicates its relations with the West, despite the political influence of the Armenian diaspora in Europe and North America and extensive trade with the EU. For both Armenia and Georgia, political and economic security have become their most important concerns. For Armenia, which is blockaded by both Turkey and Azerbaijan and is technically still in a state of war with the latter, Russia seems to be the best alternative. In the case of Georgia, Russia's military presence on its sovereign territory and the benefits from being a transit route for oil and gas links it to the West. Azerbaijan has greater flexibility. Svante Cornell has labeled it the "only truly independent state of the Caucasus," as it has no foreign troops on its territory and is not dependent on either Russia or the West for its security.88 Azerbaijan may need Western investment, but the West values its hydrocarbons and strategic location; therefore, it is not compelled to democratize.
1 See the Council of Europe website at http://www.coe.int/en/web/about-us/our-member-states.
2 Karoun Demirjian, "Armenia Straddles East-West Divide: Ex-Soviet State Tries to Serve As a Bridge after Step toward Russia," Washington Post, January 8, 2015.
3 See Michael B. Bishku, "The South Caucasus Republics and the Muslim Middle East: Political and Economic Imperatives," Mediterranean Quarterly 21, no. 3 (Summer 2010): 26-46.
4 Joshua Kucera, "Azerbaijan Snubs the West: As Washington's Influence Wanes, Baku Is Looking to Moscow," Qatar Tribune, January 12, 2015. This is an article from the New York Times Syndicate.
5 See Michael B. Bishku, "The South Caucasus Republics and Israel," Middle Eastern Studies 45, no. 2 (March 2009): 295-314. Georgia also had very close relations with Israel that included military cooperation, until the Russia-Georgia War of August 2008.
6 Nadia Chelidze, "Relationship Policy with Diaspora: Georgia," Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration (CARIM East), Explanatory Note 13/108, European University Institute, September 2013, http://www.carim-east.eu/media/exno/Explanatory percent20Note_2013-108.pdf.
7 ArmeniaDiaspora.com, "Armenian Population in the World," http://armeniadiaspora.com/population.html.
8 Azerbaijan Web Portal, "Settling Geography of Azerbaijani Diaspora," http://azerbaijans.com/content_1713_en.html.
9 See Michael B. Bishku, "The South Caucasus Republics and the Growing Influence of Russia: Balancing on a Tightrope," MERIA Journal 15, no. 1 (March 2011): 1-12, http://www.rubincenter.org/2011/08/the-south-caucasus-republics-and-rus… percentE2 percent80 percent99s-growing-influence-balancing-on-a-tightrope/.
10 Chelizde, "Relationship Policy with Diaspora."
11 ArmeniaDispora.com, "Armenian Population in the World."
12 It is difficult to have exact figures for Azeris as this is an ethnic term not in standard usage until the twentieth century. Many people who originated from what is today Azerbaijan were referred to previously as Tatars or Muslims.
13 Carl Schreck and Luke Johnson, "U.S. Jewish Groups Back Azerbaijan Despite Rights Concerns," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, February 13, 2015, http://www.rferl.org/content/azerbaijan-lobby-us-rights/26847192.html.
14 See its website at http://www.bsec-organization.org/partners/Pages/Observers.aspx.
15 See the NATO website at http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_82584.htm.
16 "Uzbekistan Suspends Membership in CSTO," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, June 28, 2012, http://www.rferl.org/content/uzbekistan-csto-suspends-membership/246292….
17 "Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)," Nuclear Threat Initiative website at http://www.nti.org/treaties-and-regimes/non-aligned-movement-nam/.
18 See the ECO website at http://www.ecosecretariat.org/in2.htm.
19 See the OIC website at http://oicun.org/. Other observer states include: Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Central African Republic, Thailand and the "Turkish Cypriot State."
20 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, "National Security Concept of Georgia," second revised publication. http://www.mfa.gov.ge/MainNav/ForeignPolicy/NationalSecurityConcept.aspx.
21 Charles King, The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus (Oxford University Press, 2008), 248.
22 Freedom House, "Freedom in the World, 2015," 22, https://freedomhouse.org/.
23 Transparency International, "Corruption Perceptions Index 2014," http://www.transparency.org/cpi2014/results.
24 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, "National Security Concept of Georgia."
25 United States Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, "Georgia," https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gg.html. The figures are estimates and the most recent available.
26Caucasus Analytical Digest, no. 51-52 (June 17, 2013): 20.
27 Quoted in Stephen Jones, Georgia: A Political History since Independence (I.B. Tauris, 2013), 251.
28 Quote by Denscher and comment are from Bruno Coppieters, "Georgia in Europe: The Idea of Periphery in International Relations," in Commonwealth and Independence in Post-Soviet Eurasia, eds., Bruno Coppieters, Alexi Zverev and Dmitri Trenin (Frank Cass, 1998), 60 and 65, respectively.
29 Ibid., 65.
30 Ghia Nodia, "The Georgian Perception of the West," in Coppieters, Zverev, and Trenin, Commonwealth and Independence in Post-Soviet Eurasia, 33.
31 Michael Cecire, "Eastern Ukraine Has Parallels to Abkhazia," EurasiaNet.org, February 18, 2015, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/72151.
32 Ronald D. Asmus, A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia and the Future of the West (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 61-62.
33 Thornike Gordadze, "Georgian-Russian Relations in the1990s," in The Guns of August 2008: Russia's War in Georgia, eds., Svante E. Cornell and S. Frederick Starr (M.E. Sharpe, 2009), 38.
34 Ibid., 41-42; also see Tracey C. German, "The Pankisi Gorge: Georgia's Achilles' Heel in its Relations with Russia," Central Asian Survey 23, no. 1 (March 2004): 27-39.
35 Mark MacKinnon, The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections and Pipeline Politics in the Former Soviet Union (Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2007), 129.
36 TACIS stands for Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States and also includes Mongolia.
37 Countries connected with this program include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. There are Association Agreements with all the countries except Libya and Syria. See European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/regions/euro-med….
38 Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit, Prague, May 7, 2009, 6, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/er/107….
39 Jos Boonstra and Laure Delcour, "A Broken Region: Evaluating EU Policies in the South Caucasus," Fride (Madrid-based think tank) Policy Brief, no. 193 (January 2015): 4. http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/content/broken-region-evaluating-eu-….
40The Official Journal of the European Union 57 (August 30, 2014) contains a copy of the Association Agreement with Georgia, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2014:261:FU….
41 Jones, Georgia: A Political History since Independence, 253.
42 Figure provided at USAID website: http://www.usaid.gov/georgia/our-work.
43 Information on the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission is found on the U.S. Department of State website: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/gg/usgeorgiacommission/index.htm.
44 The figure is from the website of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: http://unctad.org/sections/dite_dir/docs/wir2014/wir14_fs_ge_en.pdf; see also Maia Edilashvili, "FDI Declines in Georgia," Caucasus Analytical Digest 28 (June 21, 2011): 15. Every issue of this journal is available at the website of the Center for Security Studies, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich: http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?id=94386.
45 U.S. Department of State, "U.S. Relations with Georgia," January 28, 2014, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5253.htm.
46 Since 1992, five presidents have been either deposed or forced to leave office before finishing their terms: Levon Ter-Petrosyan in Armenia; Ayaz Mutabilov and Abulfaz Elchibey in Azerbaijan; and Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia.
47 CIA The World Factbook, "Armenia." https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/am.htm…, The figures are estimates and the most recent available.
48 Nazik Armanakyan and Gayane Abrahamyan, "Armenia Hopes to Become Glittering Gateway for Russian Diamonds," EurasiaNet.org, September 19, 2014, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/70061.
49 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, "National Security Strategy," approved at the session of the National Security Council at the RA President's Office on January 26, 2007, http://www.mfa.am/en/security/.
50 Center for Strategic and International Studies, Statesmen's Forum: "Armenia's Evolving Relations with United States, Europe," Speech by Vartan Oskanian on June 14, 2004, http://csis.org/files/media/csis/events/040614_oskanian.pdf.
51 Caucasus Analytical Digest, no. 51 (June 17, 2013): 20.
52 Alla Mirzoyan, Armenia, the Regional Powers, and the West: Between History and Geopolitics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 16, 22 and 162.
53 Scott Sayare, "French Council Strikes Down Bill on Armenian Genocide Denial," New York Times, February 28, 2012. Switzerland, Slovakia and Greece have laws criminalizing denial. See Bradley McAllister, "Greece Parliament Ratifies Bill Criminalizing Armenian Genocide Denial," Jurist (University of Pittsburgh School of Law), September 10, 2014, http://jurist.org/paperchase/2014/09/greece-parliament-ratifies-bill-cr….
54 The U.S. House of Representatives passed non-binding resolutions on April 9, 1975, September 12, 1984, and June 11, 1996. See Armenian National Institute (Washington, D.C.), "Resolutions, Laws and Declarations," http://www.armenian-genocide.org/current_category.7/affirmation_list.ht….
55 Freedom House, "Freedom in the World 2015," 21.
56 Transparency International, "Corruption Perceptions Index 2014."
57 This institution created in 1991 and is partly owned by the European Union. Its purpose is "to create a new post-Cold War era in central and eastern Europe, furthering progress towards 'market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative,'" http://www.ebrd.com/home.
58 Simon Payaslian, The History of Armenia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 200-214.
59 See Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, October 12, 2009, http://www.aaainc.org/fileadmin/aaainc/pdf_1/Protocols/2009__Oct_12__AZ….
60 U.S. Department of State, "U.S. Relations with Armenia," February 19, 2014. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5275.htm.
61 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, "Bilateral Relations: USA," February 10, 2015, http://www.mfa.am/en/country-by-country/us/.
62 Figures are from USAID, "Armenia: Country Development Cooperation Strategy, FY 2013-2017," 17, http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1863/Armenia-CDCS.pdf.
63 Ibid., 4; and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development website: http://unctad.org/sections/dite_dir/docs/wir2014/wir14_fs_am_en.pdf.
64 These figures were cited by Armenia's foreign minister, Edward Nalbandian, during an interview with the French journal Politique Internationale, no. 122 (Winter 2009), http://www.politiqueinternationale.com/revue/read2.php?id_revue=122&id=….
65 "Armenia Joins the Eurasian Union," The Economist Intelligence Unit, October 14, 2014, http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=592382843&Country=Armenia….
66 Quoted in Dermijian, "Armenia Straddles East-West Divide," Washington Post, January 8, 2015.
67 Gayane Abrahamyan, "Armenia: Yerevan Mending Fences with EU," EurasiaNet.org, February 9, 2015, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/71986.
68 "National Security Concept of the Republic of Azerbaijan," approved by Instruction No. 2198 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on May 23, 2007," Archived at the International Relations and Security Network, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich website as it is no longer posted on the Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?id=154917.
69 Shahin Abbasov, "Azerbaijan: Call for EU Sanctions Raises Activist-Hopes," Eurasia Net, September 26, 2014, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/70181.
70 This quote from an unnamed "senior official" from the European Commission is in Rashad Shirinov, "Azerbaijan's Foreign Policy: Seeking a Balance," Caucasus Analytical Digest 37 (March 29, 2012): 3.
71 Freedom House, "Freedom in the World, 2015," 21.
72 Transparency International, "Corruption Perceptions Index 2014."
73 CIA, The World Factbook, "Azerbaijan," https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/aj.html. The figure are estimates and the most recent available.
74Caucasus Analytical Digest, no. 51-52 (June 17, 2013): 20.
75 See the website of the OSCE http://www.osce.org/mg. Other permanent members of the Minsk Group include Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and Turkey, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan.
76 Nasser Sagheb and Masoud Javadi, "Azerbaijan's 'Contract of the Century,'" Azerbaijan International 2, no. 4 (Winter 1994): 26-28, 65. The British and American shares were divided thusly: BP (17.1 percent); Ramco (2 percent); Amoco (17 percent); Pennzoil (9.8 percent); Unocal (9.5 percent); McDermott (2.5 percent); Hess Corporation subsequently bought the Saudi share of 1.7 percent.
77 The shareholder figures come from the BP in Azerbaijan website: http://www.bp.com/en_az/caspian/operationsprojects.html.
78 U.S. Department of State, "U.S. Relations with Azerbaijan," February 18, 2015, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2909.htm.
79 USAID, "Azerbaijan Country Profile," http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1863/Country percent20Profile_Azerbaijan.pdf.
80 Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Interview with Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan about the Outcome of 2014," http://mfa.gov.az/index.php?options=news&id=858&news_id=2749&language=en.
81 Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Azerbaijan and the European Union," http://mfa.gov.az/?options=content&id=555.
83 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, "Resolute Support Mission: Key Facts and Figures," http://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2015_02/20150227_….
84 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, "International Security Assistance Force: Key Facts and Figures," http://www.nato.int/isaf/docu/epub/pdf/placemat.pdf.
85 "'Brussels Was ... Asleep': Bildt Assesses EU's mistakes Regarding Russia," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 22, 2015, http://www.rferl.org/content/carl-bildt-interview-putin-russia-ukraine-….
86 This figure is from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development website: http://unctad.org/sections/dite_dir/docs/wir2014/wir14_fs_az_en.pdf.
87 These figures are from Gerald Hübner, "Foreign Direct Investment in Azerbaijan – the Quality of Quantity," Caucasus Analytical Digest 28 (June 21, 2011): 3-4 and 9-12.
88 Svante E. Cornell, Azerbaijan since Independence (M.E. Sharpe, 2011), 315.