Legal framework for Azerbaijan – EU cooperation in the energy sector
Abstract: This article is dedicated to the analysis of legal framework of Azerbaijan – EU relations in the energy sector. The relevance of this topic in recent months is substantiated by change in geopolitical realities of the South Caucasus Region, and discussions on unblocking economic and transport communications that intensified after the Second Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. The region is an interlink between Asia and Europe; and Azerbaijan, being an exporter of oil and natural gas, is an important energy partner of the European Union. The flip of political situation in the region in the nearest future would change not only the energy relations between the countries of the region, but also EU and EAEU members-states. The subject of this research is the bilateral agreements, memoranda and joint declarations adopted by the parties in 30 years since reestablishment of the independence of Azerbaijan. Special attention is given to the vectors of cooperation of the parties both pertaining to extraction and transit of energy resources from South Caucasus and Central Asia. The author employs general dialectical, logical, historical, descriptive, formal-legal approach methods of research methods to determine the key trends and characteristics of the legal framework of Azerbaijan – EU relations in the energy sector. The scientific novelty of lies in the analysis of normative legal framework of cooperation in the energy sector beyond the context of general political and economic relations, as well as in outlining the peculiarities of legal framework of such cooperation. The conclusion is made that the cooperation between the two parties in the energy sector leans on the framework rather than binding legal agreement, which allows both parties to develop relations in the energy sector as mutually beneficial projects based on the market principles.
Keywords: Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Eastern partnership, European neighbourhood policy, Contract of the century, transport, energy, Azerbaijan, European Union, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, Southern gas corridor
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