The race to build the Southern Energy Corridor to bring Caspian natural gas to Europe is in its final stages.  The Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan is set to once and for all decide the long-pending "Nabucco question".  How will this improve European energy security?  What are the implications for regional geopolitics involving Russia and Turkey?  What are the interests of the United States in the region's transforming strategic landscape?

Experts from Baku's Center for Strategic Studies and the Parliament of Azerbaijan gather to discuss these questions at a roundtable discussion co-hosted by the Global Europe Program and the Kennan Institute.

Farhad Mammadov is the director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Baku, Azerbaijan and the co-founder of the public union “IRELI.” He began his career in the public service as an adviser at the Ministry of Youth and Tourism and in 2008 joined the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan. In 2011, Dr. Mammadov took over the leadership of the Center for Strategic Studies.

Asim Mollazade is a Member of Parliament of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Democratic Reforms Party. In addition to that, Mollazade directs the Euro-Atlantic Center of Azerbaijan, which he founded in 1998. Mollazade boasts an extensive political career, as well as a career in public service. Prior to becoming a member of parliament, he has worked for the Azeri Presidential Administration in different capacities, and has co-founded the Democracy Development Foundation of Azerbaijan. Mollazade has served as a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and is currently a member of the delegation to Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.

Gulmira Rzayeva is a leading research fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies in Baku, Azerbaijan. Her area of expertise includes energy security covering issues such as the energy policy of Azerbaijan and Black Sea/Caspian region energy security. Ms. Rzayeva has worked at the Moscow Carnegie Center as a visiting research fellow and at the Finish Aleksanteri Institute of the Helsinki University. Ms. Rzayeva holds an MA in Global Affairs from the University of Buckingham, UK, and is a co-author of the report entitled “Strategic Imperative: Azerbaijani Gas Strategy and the EU’s Southern Corridor” published at the SAM Review Journal of CSS.

The roundtable discussion will be moderated by Alexandros Petersen, advisor to the Wilson Center's Global Europe Program and author of The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West.


  • Alexandros Petersen

    Former Advisor: European Energy Security Initiative; Former Public Policy Scholar
  • Gulmira Rzayeva

    Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Studies, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Farhad Mammadov

    Director, Center for Strategic Studies, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Asim Mollazade

    Member of Parliament, and Chairman of the Democratic Reforms Party of Azerbaijan