Crisis in the Caucasus - 2008
Russian / Georgian Crisis and its Impact on Azerbaijan

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December 2008
 Pale purple color designates events directly related to Azerbaijan

 Dec 1















BBC, VOA and RL to be shut down in Azerbaijan

See more Nov 1

Letter to International Herald Tribune - Dec 15

If the Azeri government succeeds in suffocating independent media, the "new generation of export routes" will emerge in a society that lacks the rule of law and basic accountability. That's bad for business, bad for American interests and bad for the people of Azerbaijan.
Jeffrey Gedmin, Prague President, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty

Council of Europe Concerned About Azerbaijan Radio Plan

A top Council of Europe official has about Council Secretary General Terry Davis of the Council of Europe expressed concern that the Azerbaijani government must honor freedom of expression. Azerbaijan's government said a long-standing law bans local stations from broadcasting foreign programs. It said all such broadcasts - including VOA, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and the British Broadcasting Corporation - will stop on January 1.

Azerbaijan Plan to Block Foreign Radio VOA, RFE/RL and BBC
A plan by Azerbaijan's government to suspend international radio broadcasts from local frequencies early next year would deal a serious blow to the country's already dismal press freedom record. The change, expected to take place January 1, would prevent most Azeri citizens from accessing news broadcasts from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the BBC and Voice of America...

Freedom House's annual Freedom of the Press report indicates that the effort is the latest step in a long-standing campaign to silence critics. Journalists in Azerbaijan are routinely imprisoned, attacked and subject to criminal libel suits, while crimes perpetrated against journalists, including murder, usually go unpunished. Azerbaijan's authorities noticeably increased repressive measures against journalists in the run-up to October's presidential elections (Dec 4).

Freedom of the Press - 2008 Azerbaijan

Muzzling the Media

Azerbaijan threatens to muzzle independent radio
By Jessica Powley Hayden | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
from the December 23, 2008 edition

Foreign licenses, such as the BBC's, could be yanked as Baku tilts away from the West.
Recent government threats to stop issuing broadcast licenses to foreign media, including the BBC and Voice of America, is further evidence of crumbling press freedom here and may reflect the country's shift away from Washington in favor of Russia, experts say.

Azerbaijan and Russia signed a two-year cooperation programme in culture
Azerbaijan's and Russia's Ministers of Culture Abulfaz Garayev and Alexander Avdeyev signed a culture cooperation programme 2009-2010. The document stipulates cooperation in exchange of students, cultural figures, exhibitions, days of culture etc. at the interstate level as well as within cooperation of Azerbaijan with Russian regions," Avdeyev stated.

Dec 3

Turkish, Azeri, Armenian ministers to meet in Helsinki next week
OSCE Meeting in Helsinki to discuss Georgia-Russia conflict and Karabakh Conflict
Turkish, Azeri and Armenian ministers will meet with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Helsinki to discuss the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict...
  European security, Georgia top agenda of Helsinki Ministerial Council, says OSCE Chairman-in-Office
European security, Georgia top agenda of Helsinki Ministerial Council, says OSCE Chairman-in-Office. Some 50 foreign ministers will be at the OSCE Ministerial Council, underscoring the importance of talks on European security and protracted conflicts taking place here.

Azerbaijan Ends Mission to Iraq
VOA: Azerbaijan ended its small military mission to Iraq Wednesday, the latest coalition country to pull out before the U.N. mandate ends this month.

Azerbaijan soldiers, were part of the coalition forces in Haditha, northwest of Baghdad, since November 19, 2003

U.S. military and Iraqi officials thanked the Azerbaijani force in a ceremony. Azerbaijan began its mission in August 2003 to guard the Haditha Dam. Control of the dam was transferred to the Iraqi government today.

In a statement, the U.S. military said the dam, in Anbar province, did not suffer any large-scale attacks and continued to develop under the watch of the Azerbaijani force. More than 1,000 Azerbaijani troops rotated through the mission.


Dec 8

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan to visit NATO
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, will visit NATO Headquarters on Tuesday 9th December 2008. He will meet with the Secretary General, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. There will be no media opportunity. http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2008/p08-157e.html

Dec 16 

Azerbaijan announces tender for REBCO crude export
Baku. Rashad Suleymanov - APA-ECONOMICS. Azeri state oil firm Socar has announced a tender for 1.2 million barrels of REBCO crude oil for loading at Novorossiysk Port.

The company's marketing office said the first batch of crude will be taken at the port on Jan. 15-16 and the second batch on Jan. 27-28. The results of the tender will be announced on Dec. 18.

Azerbaijan's Azeri Light is a lighter crude oil and yields more light products at the refinery and less residue.
Because Azeri oil mixes with Russian crudes in Novorossiysk Port (the Black Sea), the mixture is branded as Urals http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=93826

Azerbaijan moves to scrap presidential term limits
Azerbaijan's parliament voted Friday to scrap presidential term limits, potentially prolonging a dynasty that has led the oil-rich Caspian Sea country for 15 years.

Parliament, dominated by allies of President Ilham Aliyev, overwhelmingly backed a proposal for a nationwide referendum that would also postpone elections in the event of war. The vote was 95 to 4, with one abstention...


Dec 17 
Azerbaijan vows to ensure Georgia`s long-term gas supplies

 Dec 18

Amendment to the Azerbaijani Constitution
On December 18, the head of Azerbaijan's ruling party Yeni Azerbaijan Party (YAP) called for making amendment to the Azerbaijan Constitution and lifting of the two terms limit on the presidential terms.

Azerbaijan To Vote In March On Presidential Term
Referendum to be held on March 18, 2009 about a multi-term presidential limit.

 Dec 22

US signing accord with Georgia on January 4

Dec 30

Azerbaijan bans foreign radio broadcasts on local frequencies
Baku, 30 December: The National TV and Radio Council has decided to stop the broadcast in Azerbaijan by radio stations [Radio] Liberty, the Voice of America, the BBC and [Russia's] Europa Plus starting from 1 January...

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