The last year has shown that Putin perceives that his strengths are paired with Western weaknesses; if the West is to seriously contest with him, it must become serious.
Gazprom fuels Russian military and political power; broken of that, Russia will be merely Venezuela with less political stability.
Azerbaijan has made enormous strides over the last decade, but it is now a dual symbol: of what a former Soviet state can work to be, and how it can contribute to a European future
Getting completely out from Russia’s deeply unpleasant embrace should be Lithuania’s first, second, and third foreign policy and economic priorities.
Baku used its oil wealth as a source of venture capital for other industries and to help the refugees of Armenia’s illegal occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and upward of 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory.
This is a hopeful sign for energy security in the region, as the increase in nearby oil reserves makes reliance on Middle Eastern states almost as unnecessary as it is undesirable.
Despite signs of growing political instability in Tbilisi, this promises to be the groundwork for a revolution in Georgia, the former Soviet Union, and Europe as a whole.
The effort to rebuild the Russian Empire has been stymied by Ukraine’s clever transformation of its energy policy and Azerbaijan’s growth as an alternative energy provider.
The nations that want to choose a Western destiny rather than having an Eastern one forced on them are not merely finding ways out from under Russia’s greatest source of power, but are breaking that power at the same time.
Choosing TAP over Nabucco demonstrates that Azerbiajan’s energy sector can work cooperatively with the West to meet one of Europe’s greatest needs, reliable supplies of energy at competitive prices.