Political dividends of Azerbaijan's mega energy projects as cushion to inept criticisms
The Azerbaijani economy is quickly rebounding from the pandemic and the global negative impacts. Along with mega projects in the pipeline across Karabakh, gas and energy initiatives oriented to Europe under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev are now on the radar.
However, the major point in question is what are the main factors that stimulate Azerbaijan to be the driving force behind such giant projects.
What is awe-inspiring is that Azerbaijan has taken this initiative simultaneously by overcoming the pandemic and liberating its own lands after a nearly 30-year-long occupation of Armenia. On the one hand, Karabakh is being restored with the nation's own resources, on the other hand, new projects both domestically and externally are being implemented to both achieve a sustainable economy and bring home cutting-edge technologies with the help of foreign companies.
Nations reckoning with Azerbaijan
Some states, which once exerted certain pressures on Azerbaijan via international institutions and organizations, are now reconciled with Baku's clout in place owing to the triumphant victory on the battlefield and brand-new projects serving as an alternative energy source. Luckily, certain regional and global processes prove to be a real godsend to the nation's mega projects, paving the way for prompt approvals and investment opportunities.
Judging by unfolding regional and global processes, Russia has long come to terms with the reality as official Baku is engaged with its own plans driven by its own national interests. Because the events unfolding in the region have created new realities everyone has to accept that official Baku has the leading role in the political chess game in the region. Now even Europe's cold hands are warming up on Baku's westward gas pipelines.
Pipeline of the hope - spanning between Caspian & Adriatic Seas
TAP and Italy-Azerbaijani economic relations are built on this road. "If the beginning of the Southern Gas Corridor is Azerbaijan's sector in the Caspian Sea, its endpoint is Italy, and several countries along the way benefit from Azerbaijani gas."
The fact that the president of Azerbaijan made such a statement during his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the largest Thermal Power Station with a capacity of 1,280 MW at Baku's Gulustan Palace on February 13, clearly proves how important Azerbaijan is for Europe. Certainly, as President Ilham Aliyev noted, the biggest slice of the cake, that is, Azerbaijani oil and gas are delivered to the Italian market, and the Italian energy market has been benefiting from Azerbaijan's gas for more than two years.
All work does not end here. Azerbaijan also has the potential to export not only gas but also green energy to Europe as a whole. In this regard, two weeks ago, the negotiations between the leaders of Romania and Azerbaijan in a wide format also laid the foundation stone of the economic perspectives that may cover the energy market in the future.
What makes anti-Azerbaijani critics remain tight-lipped
Undoubtedly, large capital and a strong economy are the backbones of any state. As much as Azerbaijan is interesting to the West, it is a way sharper competitor among its competitors in the region. The neighbors are always disturbed by any of its achievements such as Iran or Russia. It is for this reason that Iran, the southern neighbor, and Russia, from the north, exhibit a chaotic political approach and pretend to be with Azerbaijan at every moment, but in fact, they are conducting opposite policies in the background.
The opportunities created by the processes between Russia and Ukraine for the economy of Azerbaijan, and the rapid pace of rebuilding activities in the Karabakh and Western Zangezur economic regions, which irritate Iran, can be examples of this in every way. However, one point should not be forgotten the severe effects of the pandemic forced even the strongest countries to stick to rules they did not like. Today, those who do not want to comply with Baku's policies once again knocked on the door of Azerbaijan, the strategic nation and the driving economic engine of the South Caucasus.
In a nutshell, it should be underlined that Azerbaijan's successful policy in the economic sector over the recent two years after the Patriotic War has succeeded in neutralizing efforts of certain European circles to harm Baku's interests or water down its projects.
Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ staff editor, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1
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