Meteorological experts in Russia and Turkey have predicted that Azerbaijan will face a second wave of floods and mudflows in autumn, following that affecting the Kura-Araz lowland in May and June. It is anticipated that the rains will be linked with cyclonic activity across the Balkans and South Caucasus. The cyclones will approach the area from the south-west (Black Sea and Turkey) and north (Ukraine and North Caucasus). The flooding earlier in the year resulted in the permanent resettlement of around 50,000 people, costing an estimated AZN268m (£209.4m).
The date of 23 July is remembered with sadness by Azerbaijanis across the world, for it marks the date in 1993 when most of the Agdam region in Nagorno-Karabakh was invaded by the Armenian militia, resulting in 6000 deaths. The invaded territory amounted to one city and 80 villages, causing 128,000 residents to become IDPs.
Analysts Companiesandmarkets.com and OfficialWire have published new data regarding the Azerbaijani hydrocarbon market. From 2010–19, it is anticipated that oil and liquid gas production will increase by 20.5 per cent, with volumes reaching a peak of 1.45m barrels per day (b/d) in 2016–17, eventually decreasing to 1.35m b/d by the end of the decade-long forecast period. On the other hand, gas production from 2009–19 will rise from 16bcm to 33bcm, resulting in at least 13bcm becoming available for export.
Rome-based ENI is attempting to enter the Azerbaijani upstream sector via the proposed compressed natural gas (CNG) project. Azerbaijani President Aliyev met Paolo Scaroni, Chief Executive, ENI, to discuss the programme, which could lead to the transportation and transit of 2–3bn m. sq. (bcm) of Turkmen gas across the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan. From there, supplies would be conveyed through the Azerbaijan–Turkey transit pipeline, which ends in Erzurum, the proposed launchpad for Nabucco.
Azerbaijan has expressed enthusiasm for an initiative to launch the first round of negotiations on an Association Agreement with the EU. Mahmud Mammadguliyev, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister, commented: "The preparation and signing of an Association Agreement will be another important step in relations between the EU and Azerbaijan. It will strengthen the integration of our country into Europe."
The BP-led AIOC consortium has awarded $814m (£510.5m) worth of contracts to facilitate development of the massive Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil field in the Azerbaijani part of the Caspian Sea. The winners included BOS Shelf, a joint venture between the Italian Saipem Group and Azerbaijani state energy firm SOCAR, which attained a $215m (£134.8m) contract.
The annual Azerbaijani–US Bilateral Defence Consultations (BDC) took place in July in Baku. During the meetings, representatives from the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry and the Pentagon reviewed each element of co-operation between the countries. The US delegation was headed by Dr Celeste Wallander, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence, accompanied by officials from the US European Command.
The EU has agreed that it would be premature to hold a referendum on the status of of Nagorno-Karabakh. Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative to the South Caucasus, commented: "Any voting on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh will only occur at the end of a long process. It is now necessary to agree the principles upon which this should evolve to create guarantees for all sides." He called upon both Azerbaijan and Armenia to implement the Madrid Principles, as proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group.
There has been widespread international condemnation over the vote in the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations markup session to allocate $10m (£6.6m) of direct aid to 'Nagorno-Karabakh' as a part of the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget. This constitutes a $2m (£1.3m) increase on the FY2010, and doubles the FY2009 budget allocation. The allocation of aid directly to Nagorno-Karabakh is also in contravention of US State Department policy in the region. The Subcommittee also approved $44m (£29.2m) in aid to Armenia.
Azerbaijan has been elected to hold four-year membership of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This is amongst the most influential structures of the organisation, dealing with the practice, representation, expression, knowledge, skills, instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces recognised as cultural heritage by groups and communities.