Normalization of relations in the South Caucasus opens up unprecedented opportunities for economic and energy cooperation – European Council on Foreign Relations Fellow

BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 22. The liberation of historical lands of Azerbaijan from Armenian occupation following the Second Karabakh War has created unprecedented opportunities to promote cooperation and interaction in the South Caucasus.

Transport and communication links that had remained blocked during the 30-year occupation were able to develop in accordance with the trilateral statement by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia dated November 10, 2020. The Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministries are working currently on the preparation of a peace treaty to further strengthen the interaction between the two countries.

After Azerbaijan, Turkey also announced the normalization of relations with Armenia. At present, the two countries have appointed special representatives working in this direction.

The normalization of relations in the South Caucasus region opens up space for huge economic potential and energy cooperation, Asli Aydintasbas, senior researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Trend, commenting on the matter.

She said transmission lines in the South Caucasus are economically important for Turkey but also hold the key to regional stability in the region.

“Ankara is now signaling that it is open to normalizing relations with Armenia, but wants to do so in parallel with Azerbaijan, pacing it with the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process. forward with the normalization of relations, it opens up space for huge economic potential and energy cooperation,” she said.

Aydintasbas noted that the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border also quadruples the trade potential and energy cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Regionally speaking, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

“The region also has the potential to exploit the resources of Turkmenistan and other Central Asian countries, creating an important trading bloc,” Aydintasbas added.

This arrangement is particularly important, as all regional players are likely to be negatively impacted by sanctions against Russia.

“By opening the border with Armenia and trading directly with Azerbaijani Nakhchivan, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan can compensate for some of their losses. They could also create an energy corridor that can reach Europe and meet, in part, Europe’s growing energy needs,” she added. mentioned.