To what extent and in what ways has economic aid been used to influence economic and political development in Azerbaijan and Central Asia? This chapter deals primarily with assistance from international financial institutions (IFIs — namely, the International Monetary Fund [IMF] and the World Bank) over which the US and the European Union (EU) exert strong influence, and to a lesser extent assistance from UN agencies and bilateral aid. It focuses on political aspects of technical advice, such as retention of a common currency or adoption of a socalled Big Bang transition strategy, and on the interplay of general principles and specific national interests, such as the impact of the Armenian and oil lobbies on US policies towards Azerbaijan, or of ethnic Germans’ right of return on Germany’s policies towards Kazakhstan. While some reference is made to Russian, Iranian and Turkish aid, they will be analyzed only in the context of Western assistance aimed at promoting market economies and political pluralism.