Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 04/2013

Russia Plays on Azerbaijan's Insecurity but Sinks into Its Own Troubles

Pavel K. Baev

April 2013

Istituto Affari Internazionali


Russia's role in the Caucasus and its influence in Azerbaijan are strengthened by the reduction of Western commitments and the decline in international attention to the geopolitics of oil and gas. Moscow, however, pays insufficient attention to the evolving civil war in the North Caucasus and tends to miss the new conflict dynamics in the South Caucasus, while focussing on the partnership with Turkey. President Putin expects to gain prestige in Baku from his stance as a champion in the struggle against revolutions and Islamic radicalism but cannot admit that his profile is damaged by the unfolding political crisis in Russia.