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

Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec

October 2008
 Pale purple color designates events directly related to Azerbaijan

Oct 1

The first group of European Union (EU) ceasefire monitors enter the buffer zone around Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.
In Strasbourg, France, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) President Lluis Maria de Puig met together with Azerbaijani and Armenian representatives Samed Seyidov and David Arutyuan.

They discussed the situation about Nagorno-Karabakh after the death of the PACE Committee Chairman Lord Russell Johnston. PACE Secretary General Mathias Sorinasis also attended the meeting. Plans were made to convene again in January.
European Union (EU) monitors began their observation mission in the buffer zones, surrounding Georgia and Abkhazia.

Oct 2
Ukrainians accused of arming Georgia
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia accused Ukraine of having sent weapons and military personnel to assist Georgia during its war with Russia. "When people and military systems are used to kill Russian soldiers, it's a crime," Putin said. The timing of the Russian prime minister's statements underscores a drive in Moscow to increase its leverage in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

Oct 3

The U.S.S. Mason navy destroyer with sophisticated missile defense systems (Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer) has moved into the eastern Black Sea and may put into a port in Georgia, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have since then angrily questioned U.S. motives in using warships to send humanitarian aid to Georgia, accusing Washington of re-arming Tblisi.

A car bomb in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, killed 11 including Russian soldiers and some civilians and wounded several others, raising tensions in the separatist enclave days before a scheduled pullback of Russian troops from Georgian territory.

The Russians blamed the Georgians and the Georgians denied the charges, suggesting that the Russians were trying to delay their withdrawal from the buffer zone, due to be complete by October 10 under a French-mediated ceasefire agreement.

Will Explosions in South Ossetia Slow Moscow's Withdrawl from Buffer Zone?

 Oct 5

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Kazakhstan, a major oil producer in Central Asia.
Moscow is sensitive to visits by top U.S. officials to its neighbors in the region, and has in the past accused Western nations of trying to lure away it allies.

Oct 6

The European Court of Human Rights has received nearly 2,000 applications from South Ossetians complaining of illegal treatment at the hands of Georgia, the president of the court, Jean-Paul Costa, has said. The complaints have been filed over the past two months, since Russia and Georgia went to war over the breakaway Georgian region on August 7.

 Oct 7

The Abu Bakr (sometimes spelled Bekir) Mosque has not yet reopened after the terrorist act on Sept when a grenade was thrown into the mosque during Friday prayers. State Committee for Work with Religious Associations sent a survey to state bodies whether Abu Bakr Mosque will be opened or not.


Presidents of various countries in the region are making plans to attend the Oil Summit in Baku in November. Presidents from Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania are expected.

Oct 9

Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Arthur Rasizade attends the CIS Summit in Bishkek, representing President Ilham Aliyev.

 Oct 10

Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), head of CIS Observation Mission Sergei Lebedev arrives in Baku to observe the Presidential elections on October 15.

Chevron announces that they will start Kazakh oil flow to BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) pipeline in the second half of October.

 Oct 13

The 27 member states of the European Union (EU) decided to defer judgment on Russian compliance in Georgia. The French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner defended the French view, implying the EU has no realistic hope of evicting Russian troops from either South Ossetia or Abkhazia.


Oct 14

Russia has not withdrawn its troops from Georgia, failing to fulfill its obligations regarding the ceasefire. The West continues to play along with Moscow's game of make-believe, praising Russia's "withdrawal" and hinting that a return to business as usual could be in the cards.
New radio station opens at Baku Slavic University

Oct 15

Azerbaijan Presidential Elections
Ilham Aliyev was elected President of Azerbaijan for his second term (five years). Six candidates were running against the incumbent President Aliyev. Major opposition leaders had withdrawn their candidacy earlier in the campaign, accusing Western governments of not pressing Azerbaijan hard enough for democratic reform, in favor of stability and energy security.

Wikipedia- Azerbaijan Presidential Election, 2008

Trend News - CIS Mission Positively Assesses Returns of Azerbaijan's Presidential Election

Al Jazeera Video - Presidential Elections 2008

RFE/RL Video - The Briefing: Postmortem Of the Azerbaijani Election

Associated Press - Azerbaijan's president set for winning 2nd term - Matt Siegel

NY Times - With a Collective Shrug, Azerbaijan Votes for Its Leader- Sabrina Tavernise

Commentary Magazine - So Much for Azerbaijani Democracy - Michael J. Totten

Eurasia Daily - Azerbaijan Presidential Election
A National Mandate for Policy Continuity - Vladimir Socor

Talks Between Moscow And Tbilisi Break Down
International negotiations in Geneva between Russia and Georgia have broken down over Moscow's demand that representatives from the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia be allowed to participate fully. What was supposed to be the first face-to-face meeting between Georgian and Russian officials since the two nations fought a brief war in August ended in acrimony.

Oct 17

Turkey wins UN Security Council Non-Permanent Seat
Five countries - Turkey, Austria, Japan, Mexico, and Uganda - have won non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council of the United Nations. They will serve two-year terms beginning in January. They will replace Belgium, Indonesia, Italy, Panama and South Africa.

Oct 21

Russian President Sergey Medvedev visits Armenia and promises to help resolve Nagorno-Karabakh
On a visit to Armenia, Medvedev said talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia about the complex territorial issue have reached an "advanced" stage. He added the two neighbors appear ready to "search for a solution."

http://www.bloomberg.com/ap ps/news?pid=20601087&sid=akYuFue7kBGU&refer=home
  Natural Gas Cartel
Russians, Qataris and Iranians met in Teheran to discuss setting up a natural gas cartel, similar to the oil-based Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

 Oct 24

Presidential Inauguration
Ilham Aliyev was inaugurated for his second term as Azerbaijan's president, three days after the Constitution Court ratified the election, which took place on October 15.
In his Inaugural Speech, President Ilham Aliyev categorically opposed independence for Nagorno Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan under military occupation since 1992. The region declared its independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia in 1988.
"Never - not today, nor tomorrow, not in 10 years, nor in 50 years will Nagorno Karabakh be granted sovereignty," Aliyev said.

 Oct 25

Mayor killed in border town near South Ossetia
The mayor of the small town of Mujhava near the border of South Ossetia was killed by a remotely detonated explosion. Georgians blamed Abkhaz separatists and Russians for Saturday's attack.

 Oct 27

The global economic crisis begin to impact Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan had been enjoying explosive growth in recent years, driven mainly by the rapid rise in energy export volume. But the price of oil has plummeted in the world market these past month and Azerbaijan is beginning to feel the consequences.
IMF lends billions to Ukraine
The International Monetary Fund will allocate $16.5 billion loan package to Ukraine, said IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He said IMF aimed to ease the effects of the global financial crisis and to maintain the economic stability in Ukraine in the period of fall of steel prices.

 Oct 29

US Department of Commerce in Baku
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received the US delegation led by the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Commerce John Sullivan. Aliyev stated that the main focus was directed now toward the widening of economic reforms and maximum reducing of dependence on energy factor.

 Oct 30
Murat Zyazikov resigned as President of Ingushetia under pressure from Russia
Freedom House Welcomes Resignation of Ingushetia's President
Search at http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2008&country=7475 

Back to Calendar of Events - Index
Back to Crisis in the Caucasus - Index

AI Home Page | Magazine Choice | Topics | Store | Contact us