Azerbaijan, located within the Caucasus region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, was characterized by CultureGrams in 2013 as having a mild climate and great wealth potential (1). After gaining political independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country has made significant progress in terms of economic, political, and human development issues. By virtue of its status as a developing country, Azerbaijan strongly desires to improve its standing and respectability in the eyes of the international community. One of the outlets through which Azerbaijan aspires to accomplish this goal pertains to international sport, or more specifically the hosting of the quadrennial Summer Olympic Games, a process overseen by the International
…show more content…
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, on the other hand, wanted to classify the body of water as a sea which would subsequently be divided into individual sectors for each country (7-8). In the end, the classification dispute was resolved in favor of Azerbaijan, mostly due to the support of the United States for sectoral division given in 1996. Prior to this time, the United States took a neutral stance on the issue. After further negotiations, the Caspian Sea was divided into unequal national sectors (9-10).
Over the following years the results of these negotiations became apparent. When speaking about the significance of Azerbaijan’s oil and gas industry in 2009, Ipek claimed that the “proven and potential reserves in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea are expected to diversify, secure, and stabilize world energy supplies” (1). This ties in with Azerbaijan’s impressive economic growth since 1996, as evidenced by the progression of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Data from the World Bank shows that Azerbaijan’s GDP in United States dollars rose from approximately 10 billion in 2004 to almost 70 billion in 2012. The most impressive gain occurred in 2006, when Azerbaijan’s annual GDP growth rate reached an incredible 34% (World 1). Ipek’s testimony and the country’s GDP growth show Azerbaijan’s overwhelming international importance