Interview with Tom Lines

I recently had a chance to interview Tom Lines who worked in Baku for a little over a year, from the second half of 1992 to the second half of 1993, as project manager in the Coordinating Unit that was being set up for the EU’s new aid programme to Azerbaijan. He arrived shortly after President Elchibey’s Popular Front government took over from President Mutallibov, lived through the worst of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh and departed a few months after Heydar Aliyev came back to power.

A small part of his job was to report on political developments to the European Commission. His main qualification for the job was a languages degree, including Russian, and over 20 years’ intermittent experience of visiting the USSR and its successor states. This was his first time in the Caucasus region.

Continue Reading →