Baku, Azerbaijan, April 5
The international conference on "NATO Open Door: ten years after the "Big Bang" took place at President Palace in Vilnius. The Conference was organized by NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence. Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers and senior government officials from Baltic and Adriatic Charter countries, as well as analysts and researchers of think tanks from various countries were among the participants. Azerbaijan was represented at the conference by Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, lecturer of Baku State University.
The conference participants discussed wide range of issues, such as new tasks for NATO, new security challenges, and possible changes in strategy of the alliance towards its member and partner countries.
Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli made a presentation on "Partners' Role: Competitor, Spectator, Contributor or Decision Maker". He evaluated Azerbaijan's 20 years of partnership relations with NATO as positive progress, however underlined that those relations need to be "upgraded" to next level. He also stated that upon development of new format of partnership the sensitivities of regional political situation and potential role that Azerbaijan could play in diversification of energy supply to Europe shall be considered. The realization of Southern Gas Corridor will significantly impact geopolitics of the region and related security challenges should be evaluated before it is too late.
Expert stated that NATO should consider new geopolitical realities and security threats carefully, not only by reacting to events that happened, but also by evaluation of future threats for both member and partner countries. B. Aslanbayli also suggested that as a first step current NATO Strategic Concept must be renewed, as it doesn't reconcile with today's realities anymore.