BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24
By Huseyn Safarov – Trend:
Azerbaijan’s regional policy focus is that the interests of big regional and international centers of power are aligned in Azerbaijan within the projects implemented in the country, rather than clash, Head of the South Caucasus Club of Political Analysts Ilgar Valizade told Trend.
During the “Strategic View: Eurasia” panel meeting, which was held as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Azerbaijani president answered a tricky question of a moderator. "Which of the powerful forces of Eurasia - Moscow or Beijing, would you call in case of necessity?" the moderator asked. The president answered that he would call to Baku. The president’s response was justified and laconic. The response fully expresses Azerbaijan’s foreign policy priorities.
The political analyst stressed that Azerbaijan pursues an independent policy in the region.
"This can be seen in the example of the implementation of the project for the development of oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, where the US, Russian and Iranian companies are cooperating,” head of the club added. “No one is trying to harm the interests of each other because they understand and respect Azerbaijan’s interests, which is the country in which these projects are implemented.”
“It is very important to stress that Azerbaijan’s balanced position allows the country to play a key role in the regional security system for a long time,” Valizade added.
For all these international and regional players, Baku is a partner in a dialogue on security, on the development of economic cooperation, and a partner in political dialogue, the analyst noted.
The expert also commented on the intention to create a regional center of the World Economic Forum in Azerbaijan. Valizade said that the creation of a regional economic center in Baku is another evidence that in the South Caucasus region, a dialogue with leading business representatives within the economic agenda is formed with direct participation, and in some cases - at the initiative of Baku.
“At the initiative of Azerbaijan, a great number of large-scale projects are being implemented in the country, which have regional significance and go beyond the framework of the South Caucasus region,” the expert added. “In addition, transport and communication routes, multimodal routes such as North-South, East-West, South-West, Lapis Lazuli corridor pass through Azerbaijan.”
“The Caspian Sea-Black Sea corridor system is also being formed,” noted the analyst. “A new energy map is being formed with the implementation of large-scale energy projects. In recent years, Baku has been actively implementing transit projects related to the laying of the most important main fiber-optic cable lines of trans-regional significance. Of course, all this is a condition for Baku to play the role of an interactive platform, because a very big circle of participants, both economic entities and political players, is engaged in these projects. Apparently, the easiest way to facilitate these dialogues is in the place where it will be more productive, that is, in Baku."
The political analyst touched on the issue of joint development of the Nakhchivan and Goshadash fields in Azerbaijan with the Russian company Lukoil. He noted that the promising Nakhchivan and Goshadash fields were discovered by Azerbaijani geologists back in Soviet times.
"In particular, the Nakhchivan field, in addition to oil, also contains a significant amount of gas condensate. And of course, an agreement on the development of these fields will enable other companies and investors to pay attention to those places that are within the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea," Ilgar Valizade said.
"Among other things, Goshadash may become a continuation of large-scale projects implemented by Lukoil. On the other hand, this enables Azerbaijan to establish close cooperation with Russian oil companies already on its territory, in particular, at the Goshadash field. Here you can also note a great opportunity for the exchange of technologies, the opportunity to create some kind of joint oil infrastructure. In addition, we can talk about a new level of cooperation between the oil workers of Azerbaijan and Russia. In other words, this is a very profitable project for both Azerbaijan and Russia," concluded the political analyst.