Azerbaijan: Linchpin of the Caucasus

Baku, November 12 AZERTAC

Centre for European Policy Analysis has published an article titled "Azerbaijan: Linchpin of the Caucasus"

Written by Janusz Bugajski the article says: "On both counts, Azerbaijan is the most significant player in the Caucasus and has demonstrated its Western direction by assisting Washington in the war in Afghanistan and the campaign against international terrorism.

The country has now reached a crossroads in its evolution. Baku's growing role in energy and transportation networks between Central Asia and Europe shows that Azerbaijan has become a significant player on the security front by contributing to diversifying Europe's energy supplies. The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is planned as a network of pipelines that will connect gas fields in Azerbaijan with southern Italy via Georgia, Turkey, Greece, and Albania. It will consist of three sections: the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), the Trans-Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). The SCP is already online and pipes Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian coast to the Georgian-Turkish border; TAP will pump gas directly into Italy; and TANAP will link the SCP with TAP. TANAP is expected to be concluded by 2019 and TAP by 2020."

The article also says: "Closer US diplomatic ties with Azerbaijan are vital both to deter growing Muscovite influences and to prevent the outbreak of a renewed war. Baku's frustration with international players in failing to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh standoff for over twenty years or reclaiming seven other districts seized by Armenia could even trigger a regional conflagration."

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