Azerbaijani–Russian relations and the economization of foreign policy HEIDI KJAERNET
Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991. Since that time, Azerbaijan’s main objectives have been to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity and to secure foreign investment in its petroleum sector. Russia – as the country that Azerbaijan effectively declared its independence from, and that dominated Azerbaijan’s energy production during the Soviet period – is central to both objectives. This chapter analyses the energy-related bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Russia1 and argues that the nature of this relationship has been determined by two main factors: continued non-solution of the conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, and the development of Azerbaijan’s petroleum resources. More specifically, it suggests that bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are characterized by the ‘economization trend’ in Russian foreign policy.