Georgia and Azerbaijan: From Partnership to Interdependence
The fates of Georgia and Azerbaijan have been closely linked for most of their histories, and now this is true more than ever. The past twenty-five years have demonstrated that without their close strategic partnership, neither country would be able to sustain its independence or achieve greater economic prosperity. This commentary discusses the ways in which Georgia and Azerbaijan have faced similar challenges since the restoration of their independence: armed conflicts and the occupation of significant parts of their territories, internal strife, and destabilization. These challenges have been followed by partnerships on international energy projects that have drastically changed their strategic importance on the world’s geopolitical map. Thus far, this partnership has helped to consolidate the independence of both Georgia and Azerbaijan, but in order to sustain this achievement, the two countries must seek to amplify their international geo-economic role. While the world around us is undergoing dynamic changes, Georgia and Azerbaijan must reach out to the neighbors on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, in order to encourage them to place greater priority on the South Caucasus transport corridor. Beyond the existing function of supplying/transporting energy to Western markets, Azerbaijan and Georgia must reinvent themselves as the bridge between the Greater Caspian and Greater Black Sea regions.
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