My thanks go to James Nixey, Ľubica Polláková and Laurence Broers in the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, who offered their help and support at every step, and contributed to the improvement of this manuscript; and to the Queen Elizabeth II Academy and Robert Bosch Stiftung for providing this scholarship, which enabled me to spend an intellectually enriching time at Chatham House.
Thanks also go to Jake Statham and Nick Bouchet, whose editing and suggestions improved the quality of the paper. I am also indebted to Celia Davies, Fuad Chiragov and Anar Valiyev for generously sharing their insights and experience.
During my research, I met more than 100 experts, former and current officials, and individuals in Azerbaijan and Russia. Among them was Vafa Guluzade, former foreign and national security advisor to three presidents of Azerbaijan, who died in May 2015, and whose insights and courage were an inspiration. Azerbaijan will miss his rare brand of experience and vision. I dedicate this paper to his memory.
I remain solely responsible for any errors of fact or judgment in this paper.