Azerbaijan

Full Step on the Gas

In oil we trust

For the past decade, the Caucasian country, a former member of the USSR, has been desperately attempting to renew its image. The 2012 Eurovision festival, hosted in the capital Baku, was supposed to present the new look of Azerbaijan to the world, but the international press that converged on the city preferred to highlight the human rights violations by president Ilham Aliyev, the country’s strongman in power since 2003, when he succeeded his father.
In order to boost its global reputation, Azerbaijan also hosted the first European Games in 2015, the Chess Olympiad in 2016 and the Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017.
With the boom of oil prices, Azerbaijan, one of the world’s major oil and gas exporters, enjoyed a new and sudden prosperity: the same that made its fortune from the 1850s, when the first oil wells on the planet started pumping crude here.
In 2012 the country launched “Azerbaijan 2020”, a project of unprecedented size, financed by the oil revenues, in order to improve the public welfare and to reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: this is the year which will tell whether those ambitious targets have been achieved.

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