Baku has been able to weather this storm in no small part because of its unique makeup — its oil wealth, its careful development of non-petroleum industry, its historically tolerant Shi’i population, and its position at the crossroads of so many cultures and states in Eurasia.
Increased attention to repression in Belarus is welcome. We can only hope that some day the people of Belarus will enjoy their own “Arab Spring.”
Azerbaijan has chosen to be a pro-Western and pro-American sovereignty. Like so many of the countries formerly under the control of the totalitarian Russian state, it has opted to look West rather than to join some Eurasian pact of the sort Vladimir Putin envisions.
When one of the former Soviet republics, even one with an uneven record like Kazakhstan, makes a bid for Western integration and recognition, we should encourage that transition.