United States – Azerbaijan Relations (1991-2020)

Keywords: USA, Azerbaijan, Russia, Caspian Sea, Diplomatic Relations, Energy


The purpose of the paper is to thoroughly investigate the intricate relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan from 1991 to 2020, considering diplomatic, political, economic, and security dimensions. Emphasizing the pivotal role of Russian Federation in the South Caucasus, the research seeks to provide a holistic understanding of the factors influencing U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, offering valuable insights into evolving geopolitical dynamics over the three crucial decades.

The novelty of the paper lies in its in-depth exploration of three decades of U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, the study provides unique insights into the evolving dynamics, contributing a comprehensive analysis of the multifaceted relationship.

Conclusions. The author identifies 4 periods of US-Azerbaijan relations in 1991-2020: 1) 1991-2001, 2) 2001-2007, 3) 2007-2015, and 4) 2015-2020.

From 1991 to 2001, the United States underwent a transformative phase in its policy towards Azerbaijan, marked by an increased focus on regional stability and economic partnerships through energy initiatives like the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Security concerns in the South Caucasus also influenced policy decisions, while considerations of democracy and human rights were weighed against broader strategic imperatives. This period set the foundation for subsequent shifts in U.S. policy towards Azerbaijan.

In 2001-2007, U.S. policy towards Azerbaijan underwent significant changes, prioritizing the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and intensifying efforts in combatting international terrorism. The Global War on Terror played a crucial role, leading to strengthened U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, though democracy promotion took a back seat to energy and security interests.

The period from 2007 to 2015 saw a nuanced shift, with decreased U.S. focus on energy and security, increased attention to democracy and human rights, and challenges arising from Azerbaijan’s opposition to the Turkish-Armenian Rapprochement. Azerbaijan’s strategic concerns regarding Nagorno-Karabakh intensified, and U.S. engagement faced limitations in influencing regional outcomes.

Between 2015 and 2020, U.S. policy towards Azerbaijan further disengaged across energy, security, and democracy promotion dimensions, influenced by factors like the unconventional oil and gas revolution, decreasing Central Asia significance, rising isolationism, and the Trump administration’s priorities. The U.S. response to regional dynamics, notably the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, showcased a trend of reduced involvement.


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How to Cite
Garashova, S. (2024). United States – Azerbaijan Relations (1991-2020). Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (4(44), 301-322. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2023.4(44).688
Contemporary History