As the authors state, Azerbaijan was not among the soviet republics which could be referred to as active searchers for independence and has decided to secede from the USSR only on 30 August 1991, straight after the failure of the Moscow putsch. A.Mutalibov, the last communist leader of the republic, was elected the first president of the independent Azerbaijan. Then the opposition created an alternative structure of power, the National Council.
Both the Military failures in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and then political climate in Azerbaijan prevented A.Mutalibov from a long stay in power.
All former presidents of Azerbaijan since H. Aliev’s presidential win have been removed from the power for different reasons.
It’s impossible to talk over the relationship between Moscow and Baku without touching upon the Nagorno Karabakh conflict which resulted Armenia’s victory supported by Russia, so far Moscow is the closest Armenia‘s partner and ally, the author goes on.
Azerbaijani-Russian relations can not be characterized as stable.
Baku takes part in the GUAM organization, which is negatively evaluated in Moscow.Russia was not happy with the implemented Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline project.
Though political priorities declared by Azerbaijan are Western-coloured, those are democracy, , integration and co-operation policy with NATO. EU, EC, anyway Baku is practicing a authoritarian power model which does not absolutely comply with western development model
One of the major Azerbaijan‘s problems is human rights. According to the report in „Freedom House“, Azerbaijanis attributed to the group of non-free countries where human rights and freedoms are violated on a constant basis
Being a member to European Council Azerbaijan has taken some commitments. According to L.Younus, a defender of human rights in Azerbaijan (the data of 2007), law enforcement institutions are practicing tortures, the country does not have an independent court, freedom of speech and meetings is restricted and election results are constantly falsified. Unfortunately, today the situation hasn’t changed.
The article has mentioned the constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan in March of 2009, which removed the two-term limit on the president. In principle this would allow incumbent president I.Aliyev to stay in power for good with the perspective to hand over this post to his successor.
The ongoing processes in Azerbaijan are characteristic of many Eastern countries. Actually, Azerbaijan‘s road is characteristic of the post-soviet Central Asian republics. However, with the above „traditions“ Azerbaijan could hardly expect to move towards the West or become part of it.