icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube

Zaur Shiriyev

Analyst, South Caucasus
Baku, Azerbaijan

Crisis Group Role

Zaur Shiriyev is Crisis Group’s Analyst for South Caucasus. Based in Baku, he produces analyses and reports on security and foreign policy issues, including the protracted conflicts in the South Caucasus region. He focuses in particular on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as Azerbaijan’s relations with regional actors, including Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Areas of Expertise

  • Foreign and national security policies of the South Caucasus states
  • Security, conflict resolution and energy issues in the post-Soviet space
  • Azerbaijan and Turkish foreign policy

Professional Background

Zaur Shiriyev has more than ten years of experience in academia and think-tanks, with expertise in security, conflict resolution and foreign policy issues pertaining to the broader South Caucasus region.

Prior to joining Crisis Group in February 2018, he was an Academy Associate with the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, from 2015. He has been active in expert level Track 2 meetings on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since 2008, and most recently, served as coordinator of the PeaCE programme, aimed at strengthening and re-engaging Azerbaijani civil society and youth from geographic areas affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in peacebuilding activities.

He was a senior research fellow at ADA University, Baku, from May 2014 to March 2017. Previously, he worked as leading research fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) from 2009 to 2014 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies in Istanbul and International Strategic Research Organisation in Ankara.

He is a frequent contributor to several journals and magazines, including EurasiaNet, CACI Analyst, Eurasia Daily Monitor and has previous editorial and journalistic experience in Azerbaijan and Turkey. Zaur has published numerous articles and commentaries and co-edited The Geopolitical Scene of the Caucasus: A Decade of Perspectives (Istanbul; 2013) and Energy Security and Geopolitics in Southeast Europe and Azerbaijan (Washington, DC; 2015).


  • Azerbaijani (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • Turkish (fluent)
  • Russian (fluent)
  • French (conversant)


Latest Updates

Q&A / Europe & Central Asia

Turkey-Armenia Talks Hold Promise of Opening Long-Shut Border

Turkish and Armenian special envoys will meet in Moscow on 14 January to discuss normalising relations between these long-estranged neighbours. Crisis Group experts Olesya Vartanyan, Nigar Göksel and Zaur Shiriyev unpack how the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020 opened the way for talks.

A Listening Tour of the Azerbaijani Front Lines

A new communication channel has sparked hope for negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. But as Crisis Group Analyst Zaur Shiriyev found talking to Azerbaijani soldiers and villagers living near the front, decades of conflict mean that the path to peace will be rocky.

Old Conflict, New Armenia: The View from Baku

The April 2018 “velvet revolution” in Armenia has brought new meetings and helped improve the dynamics of the three-decade-long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Much more needs to happen to reach peace, but Azerbaijan’s old scepticism is giving way to cautious hope in diplomacy.

For Azerbaijan, Armenia’s Political Upheaval is a Double-edged Sword

Azerbaijan regards Armenia’s “velvet revolution” as both hopeful and worrying. Baku hoped Yerevan’s new leadership might bring a fresh approach to negotiations over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. But, thus far, to many Azerbaijanis that leadership sounds less flexible than its predecessor.