Letter to the Editor: Azerbaijan’s GUAM Policy

To the Editors, Richard Weitz [“Unity of Guam States Threatened in Efforts to Realize Energy Potential,” July 10, 2008] is a correct that the GUAM Organization would be doomed to extinction without Azerbaijan, and that the organization’s future depends on Azerbaijan’s economic resources and transit potential. However, the portrayal of Azerbaijan as a member country that impedes GUAM’s democratic development, along with the fanciful notion that it is considering quitting the organization, is wholly inaccurate. One should not forget that the very idea of GUAM began with the late President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev who brought the initiative before his […]

Energy differences between Russia and European countries have created an opportunity for the GUAM states — Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova — to assume a more prominent role in Europe’s institutional architecture. Until now, the GUAM has been overshadowed by more prominent institutions such as NATO, the European Union, and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Most recent attention has focused on how GUAM might help EU members pursue their energy diversification strategy. GUAM includes both energy-producing (Azerbaijan) and energy-transit (Azerbaijan again but also Georgia and potentially Ukraine) countries. The pivotal geographic location of GUAM members — which have direct access […]

At their June 26-27 summit in the Siberian town of Khanty-Mansiisk, located in the heart of Russia’s energy industry, EU and Russia officially launched negotiations on a new EU-Russia Agreement. Although the formal agenda consisted mostly of economic and energy issues, the participants devoted considerable time to security questions as well as assessing how the presence of Russia’s new president, Dmitry Medvedev, might affect the negotiations. For the past few years, Russian-EU relations have been addressed within the framework of four “common spaces” — the Common Economic Space (covering economic issues and the environment); the Common Space of Freedom, Security […]