Guest Lecture on October 6th


Aleksanteri Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan organised a guest lecture by H.E. Mr. Rafael Ibrahimov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan and the Regional Dynamics

The Azerbaijan Ambassador to Sweden, Norway and Finland, Mr Rafael Ibrahimov, delivered a thought-provoking lecture that offered new insight on this important but relatively unknown South Caucasian country.


In an historical overview, Ibrahimov pointed out the important role that the Nobel brothers (Robert and Ludwig) played in the first Baku oil boom at the turn of the 20th century. He also noted that the Baku-Batumi railway link was the first energy corridor from the South Caucasus to the outside world

Mr Ibrahimov then turned to more recent regional developments, underlining the close regional economic cooperation between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, which extends far beyond joint oil and gas export pipeline projects.

Mr Rafael Ibrahimov
Armenia, however, remains sidelined from these projects due to Azerbaijan’s categorical withdrawal from any regional project involving Armenia. Bilateral relations between the two neighbours remain strained by unresolved conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, which the Azeri side regards as the cradle of Azerbaijani culture. As a result of the conflict, Azerbaijan considers 20 percent of its territory – the Nagorno-Karabakh as well as seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan proper – as being occupied by Armenia.

audience is listening

Audience enjoyed the lecture.

According to Ibrahimov, Azerbaijan is seeking peaceful settlement of the conflict, in the negotiation process mediated by the Minsk group of the OSCE, based on the norms and principles of international law. As a precondition for any discussions regarding the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan also insists on the restoration of its territorial integrity and the return of refugees and IDPs to their homes. Ibrahimov also stated that Karabakh Armenians would be offered the highest possible level of autonomy.

Text: Mikko Palonkorpi
Photos: Erkka Lehto