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Azerbaijan, whose location adjacent to the rich oil resources of the Caspian Sea makes it strategically more vital to Russia than Armenia, is the only one of the three Caucasus states to refuse any deployment of Russian troops on its soil. Russia fears the increasing influence of Turkey in Azerbaijan, which, according to national security planners, is a likely bridge for Turkish influence into Central Asia and Russia's Muslim republics to the north and east of Azerbaijan. Because of these factors, Russia has exerted substantial diplomatic and economic pressure on Azerbaijan to reappraise its independent policy. However, former Soviet Politburo member Heydar Aliyev, now president of Azerbaijan, has proven much more independent than Russia expected when it assisted him in becoming head of state in 1993.

Last Updated: July 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Russia was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Russia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 326 of 384


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