Belarus - Azerbaijan Relations (2005-2018): between Economy and Search for Political Support

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Abstract


Belarusian-Azerbaijani relations are characterized by quite gradual development. Initially both republics were not seriously interested in each other. As a result, diplomatic relations were not immediately established. This state of practical affairs determined the lack of research interest in the Belarusian-Azerbaijani dialog. Nevertheless, from time to time the BelarusianAzerbaijani relations influence the economic confrontation between Belarus and Russia. Therefore, the study of this issue becomes relevant, as it helps identifying the real state of cooperation, prospects for its development and problems that Belarus and Azerbaijan may face while developing bilateral relations. The key research focus is on studying different areas of Belarusian-Azerbaijani cooperation and on analyzing the way how the practical results of this area cooperation contribute to solving specific problems faced by the Belarusian and Azerbaijani authorities. Analysis and synthesis are the main methods used for achieving the research goals. The study of specific areas of bilateral cooperation - energy, military, economic, political and others will make it possible to understand the crucial importance of each of the areas. Consideration of the problem as a whole on the basis of the analyzed material will allow finding out the reasons of the specific political decisions and actions. As a conclusion, the author assumes that Azerbaijan’s interest in cooperation with Belarus is mostly based on economic and military considerations. Belarus has helped Azerbaijan in establishing a licensed assembly of civilian equipment, and also sells it military equipment, including the most modern, which the Republic possesses. In its turn, Belarus’ interest in Azerbaijan primarily lies on energy and ideological components, which are tightly interlinked. With Azerbaijani energy carriers, Minsk tried to demonstrate to Moscow that the option of replacement for Russian oil was real. In addition, Belarus could get a loan from Azerbaijan to repay its debt to Russia. This gave the Belarusian President a reason to put relations with Azerbaijan higher than with closer allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which caused distrust of Belarus on the part of some of its members.


About the authors

Alexander Dmitrievich Gronsky

Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: agr1976@yandex.ru
Moscow, Russian Federation

PhD in History, Lectrer, Leading Researcher, Center for Post-Soviet Studies

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