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Putin Stirs Azeri Angst That Russia Is Set to Extend Sway

As Vladimir Putin completes Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Azerbaijan is feeling pressure as concerns mount that his attention will next shift southward.

The Caspian Sea nation, the only westward route for central Asian oil and gas that bypasses Russia, is finding itself hemmed in by Putin’s regional ambitions. Russian troops are already stationed in neighboring Georgia and Armenia and just four months ago, Putin said Russia will “never leave” the region.