Washington’s invasion of the South Caucasus, including after Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine To Azerbaijan increased attention. Although only 2 days before the start of the war Azerbaijan presidents Ilham Aliyev Moscow signed a “Declaration on Interaction and Alliance” with his Russian counterpart. This document reviews the general set of more than 250 treaties and agreements between the two countries and is based on interaction and common interests in most areas.
The course of the war was not in line with the Kremlin’s plans, and the joint resistance of the army and the people in Ukraine to the occupation provoked the West. USA and the short-lived anti-British leadership.Russia coalition to Ukraine on a large scale military, politicalbegan to provide humanitarian assistance and in parallel launched heavy economic sanctions against Russia.
The situation has forced Azerbaijan and other post-Soviet countries to increase their distance from the Kremlin and be cautious. As a result, the alliance agreement signed on February 22 was largely off the agenda, and only some Russia remained in the rhetoric of officials.
USAof To Azerbaijan The increase in attention also coincides with a new era after the start of the war. A while ago Europe Washington’s support for the union’s activation in the South Caucasus was expressed at the highest level. In this context, the reactions of the White House and the State Department to the series of Aliyev-Pashin meetings, which began on December 15 in Brussels, can be noted.
In the past 3 months, Washington-Baku When you look at the chronology of your relationship, you notice the steps taken at the highest level. Topics raised in letters, telephone conversations and visits are also important in general:
March 15 USA Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Azerbaijan presidents Inspiration He called Aliyev. During the conversation, issues related to the post-conflict period in the South Caucasus region, including with Armenia Azerbaijan The sides exchanged views on the normalization process. In addition, regional security issues were discussed. Blinken For humanitarian aid to Ukraine To Azerbaijan thanked.
Azerbaijani counterpart of US President Joe Biden on March 18 Inspiration Congratulated Aliyev on Novruz holiday. The main message of the letter was:
“My administration will continue to support democracy, peace and progress in the South Caucasus. We will also work with Azerbaijan to address common security concerns, promote regional reconciliation and explore new opportunities for economic cooperation. ”
Ilham Aliyev Biden’s response to the letter said:
“Energy security, international security, the fight against terrorism are among the leading areas that characterize our partnership;
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a state pursuing an independent policy based on the will and interests of the people;
As a supporter of peace, we are ready to start negotiations on a peace agreement with Armenia on the basis of fundamental principles of international law, such as the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of our country. Based on a vision for the future of the United States Of Azerbaijan we hope it will support the peace agenda;
We would be pleased to see the participation of US companies in the reconstruction and reconstruction of the post-conflict period.
On April 27, the US Assistant Secretary of State discussed the Caucasus, regional conflicts and the South Europe A delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Erika Olson left Washington for Baku trip hit. To the delegation on the negotiations of the State Department in the Caucasus region ali Adviser Andrew Shaffer, USA in Azerbaijan ambassador Orl Litzenberger, Georgia ambassador Kelly Degnan and in Armenia ambassador Lynn Tracy was included.
A day later, on April 28, with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Ilham Aliyev had a telephone conversation between. This telephone conversation took place on May 6 in Brussels.Armenia It happened a few days before the meeting of the leaders.
The sides exchanged views on the situation after the 44-day war, the opening of communications in the region and the provision of long-term peace. The parties also discussed the future activities of the OSCE Minsk Group.
The Secretary of State noted that the 907th amendment to the Freedom Support Act was suspended this year as well.
Two weeks later, on May 11, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev again. Secretary of State with Azerbaijan Armenia He expressed support for the conclusion of a peace agreement in this regard and expressed hope that it would contribute to lasting peace in the region.
Anthony Blinken also met with the United States and Azerbaijan Armenia He expressed readiness to support the process of delimitation and demarcation of borders and the opening of transport lines.
During the conversation, the sides exchanged views on the opportunities for enhancing dialogue between the two countries, the process of democratization in Azerbaijan, and stressed the role of the intergovernmental commission in the development of bilateral relations.
To the Azerbaijani counterpart of US President Joe Biden May 28 Independence Day In his congratulatory message, the messages were expressed in a clearer and more concrete order:
We call on Azerbaijan to take purposeful steps towards democratic governance and reforms that protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of all Azerbaijanis;
In this era of global instability, in which Russia seeks to undermine key pillars of international security with its war against Ukraine, the United States Of Azerbaijan reaffirms its support for independence and sovereignty;
The United States stands ready to help intensify diplomatic ties between Azerbaijan and Armenia and build Azerbaijan’s economic, transportation, and interpersonal ties, which will allow the entire Caucasus and Trans-Caspian region to flourish.
“Diversification is more important than ever to achieve our energy security goals, and Azerbaijan is playing a key role in regional efforts to achieve that goal.
I welcome your continued steps to achieve Azerbaijan’s full potential, including promoting a diversified economy, investing in renewable energy, contributing to global goals in the fight against climate change, strengthening the rule of law and accountability, and raising the living standards of the Azerbaijani people. ”
On June 7, Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev traveled to Washington, where he met with high-ranking officials, including the United States. national met with security adviser Jake Sullivan. Azerbaijan-US partnership and regional issues were discussed at the meeting.
One week after Hajiyev’s visit, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Deputy Foreign Minister Kara MacDonald visited Baku on June 14. He said representatives of civil society, NGO representatives, legal experts, independent media and political He met with representatives of political parties, as well as officials of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
US Secretary of State Europe and Dr. Karen Donfried, Assistant for Eurasian Affairs, visited Azerbaijan a day later. According to the State Department, Ms. Donfried will visit three countries in the South Caucasus to emphasize her commitment to peace, democracy and prosperity in the South Caucasus.
The main emphasis was on:
The trip Dr. Karen Donfried will emphasize the United States’ support for their sovereignty and independence, and the right of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia to choose their own path.
During the period covered by the presented chronology, Azerbaijan and Russia There were only a few contacts between. President Ilham Aliyev He congratulated Vladimir Putin on Russia Day and informed about the meeting with Pashinyan in Brussels. It should be noted that Aliyev had earlier told his Turkish counterpart RT about the discussionErdogan informed. In the context of the Karabakh issue, Deputy Prime Minister, representative of Azerbaijan in the trilateral working group Shahin Mustafayev twice Moscow was. On June 23-24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Baku trip hit. In his meetings in Baku information Although an agreement on security has been signed, no significant statements have been made on bilateral relations.
There are several priority issues in US-Azerbaijani relations, which continue to tighten and rise. In the chronology presented above, 4 issues are continuously highlighted:
Taking steps to address issues related to human rights and democracy, the rule of law in Azerbaijan;
Resolving the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict without the use of force, within the framework of ensuring the territorial integrity and security rights of the Armenians of Karabakh;
Continue to support the export of Caspian hydrocarbon resources to European markets on a larger scale;
Giving open, unequivocal support to Azerbaijan’s sovereignty against the growing threat of Russia.
Official Baku Among these topics, only short texts on human rights and democratic development were preferred. He expressed readiness to expand dialogue opportunities on other issues. It should be noted that at the international forum held in Baku last week President Ilham Aliyev He stressed that Azerbaijan is currently working on security issues.
Thus, the infrastructure for the beginning of a new phase in US-Azerbaijani relations is nearing completion. It is possible that in the near future, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will be invited to pay an official visit to Washington and bilateral agreements will be announced in these four areas.
It should be noted that the President of Azerbaijan 20At the end of April 6, he visited the White House at the invitation of US President George W. Bush. Although there have been business visits since then, no official invitation has been received from the White House. Experts attribute this to human rights problems in Azerbaijan, problems in democracy, and Baku’s choice to move closer to Russia, which is gradually moving away from the line of integration with the West and strengthening its position in the region. In the past, the government has used diplomatic and lobbying opportunities, but it has not been possible to obtain this invitation.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has radically changed the situation in the region. Although the White House did not invite Azerbaijan to Biden’s Democracy Summit in December last year, activity in bilateral relations in the coming months raises hopes that relations will be brought to the same level in the near future. Of course, the course of this process depends largely on the scale of Azerbaijan’s internal reforms and the principled position of the West.