BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 29
By Matanat Nasibova - Trend:
Azerbaijan is the most stable state among the GUAM member countries (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova) and in case of full restoration of this organization’s activity, Azerbaijan will play a leading role in it, leading analyst of Russian Center for Political Information Ivan Pyatibratov told Trend Dec. 28.
Pyatibratov was commenting on the opportunities that will open for Azerbaijan in 2020, during the country’s chairmanship in this organization.
The Russian analyst noted that Azerbaijan’s importance for GUAM is enormous.
“In order to become a key hub in every sense of the word, it is necessary to be a truly neutral side,” Pyatibratov said. “Until now, Azerbaijan has been doing this job very well, let alone participation in the Non-Aligned Movement. On the other hand, GUAM’s activities so far haven’t been politically neutral, and in this regard, its format should be carefully weighed. Attempts are being made to transform GUAM into an economic structure the goal of which is to organize a free trade zone among Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.”
“Therefore, it seems to me, the organization may be interesting for Azerbaijan in that the country will be able to become an almost exclusive supplier of energy resources from the Caspian region to other GUAM member countries,” the analyst noted. “Azerbaijan has the necessary infrastructure for this. In my opinion, this will only strengthen the country’s position in the region and, therefore, its political influence. Other countries of the Caspian region, primarily Turkmenistan and Iran, may also be interested, as they will receive new markets for themselves.”
Pyatibratov added that GUAM has much to offer Azerbaijan, if the organization focuses entirely on economic cooperation.
Member countries of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova - GUAM) at a meeting in Kyiv last year agreed to strengthen cooperation, in particular, on the creation of a free trade zone, which implies the absence of trade borders and barriers, as well as the creation of a transport corridor that can become an effective route for the growth of trade between countries.
The cooperation among Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova as part of GUAM was initiated at a meeting of the presidents of these countries Oct. 10, 1997, in Strasbourg, during the Council of Europe summit.