Region

South Caucasus

Stories under this heading cover the South Caucasus – a region encompassing Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as the unrecognised entities of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

For those interested specifically in Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and events and developments in and around Nagorno-Karabakh following the 2020 44-day war, check out our sister page, KarabakhSpace.eu.

Armenian and Azerbaijani experts discuss process of confidence-building with EU officials in Brussels
The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on Confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG) met in Brussels on 1 – 2 February 2023. Armenian and Azerbaijani experts that form part of the Group discussed recent developments in the South Caucasus, developments in the process of normalising Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and establishing peace in the region, and how confidence-building measures can help overcome present and future problems and challenges. On 1 February, the Group had a substantive meeting with the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, who reiterated the continued and ongoing commitment of the European Union in support of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The group asked EUSR Toivo Klaar to convey their appreciation to European Council President Charles Michel for his continuing efforts to mediate between the two sides. The Group expressed its willingness to contribute with tangible actions and initiatives towards on-going European Union peace efforts in the region.
patrickn97 Thu, 02/02/2023 - 14:42 Georgian, Turkish and Azerbaijani defence ministers meet at close of military drills

Georgian Defence Minister Juansher Burchuladze and his Azerbaijani and Turkish colleagues, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov and General Hulusi Akar, met on Thursday (2 February) to discuss cooperation in regional development and defence at the closure of multinational military exercises in Kars, Turkiye.

patrickn97 Thu, 02/02/2023 - 12:24

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Opinion: No Peace is possible with zero trust
"If one side of the conflict, regardless of the motives and explanations, takes action to starve the civilian population of the other side, trust will not reach the zero level; it may go beyond zero. Thus, all external actors, who have been involved in the complicated task of creating some trust between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, should clearly express their position – the blockade of the Lachin corridor should be stopped immediately. At the same time, negotiations should continue to address any concerns of Azerbaijan without breaching the November 10, 2020, trilateral declaration, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.
dennis2020 Mon, 01/09/2023 - 10:05
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: EU mediation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is needed now more than ever

Opinion: EU mediation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is needed now more than ever

The stalemate in the process of normalising relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan has created new risks. Writing for commonspace.eu in this op-ed, Vasif Huseynov says that "there is widespread concern in the region that the sides might end up in a violent military escalation this year if they fail to sign a peace treaty and agree on a roadmap for the resolution of the remaining disputes concerning the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and the re-opening of regional transportation links. Under these circumstances, there is a great need for the constructive intervention and active mediation of the EU, without which Baku and Yerevan are unlikely to be able to overcome the difficulties created by the Russian side", he argues.
Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia celebrates his 90th birthday

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II is today celebrating his 90th birthday.

dennis2020 Wed, 01/04/2023 - 10:20
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: 2022 - a year of high expectations tempered by dire realities

Opinion: 2022 - a year of high expectations tempered by dire realities

After the wave of diplomatic activities in late September – early October 2022, it seemed that the idea of signing a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan by the end of 2022 was more than a dream. However, November – December 2022 proved that pessimists were closer to reality. After Russia re-inserted itself in the negotiation process by organizing a new trilateral leaders' summit on October 31, 2022, and Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers met in Washington on November 7, 2022; the peace process stalled. In the current situation, the external players involved in the negotiations and interested in preventing a resumption of hostilities should focus on preserving the fragile stability that emerged after September aggression by Azerbaijan. In this context, the resumption of the Brussels format of negotiations is of utmost importance. Otherwise, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and Armenia – Azerbaijan relations risk becoming another pawn in Russia – US confrontation, with negative implications for all sides.
Opinion: Azerbaijan is intensively engaged in new projects that aim to contribute to energy security, especially in Eastern Europe
Over the last month, the diplomatic traffic between Azerbaijan and the Eastern European countries has intensified in a remarkable way. The mutual high-level visits between Albania and Azerbaijan, as well as between Serbia and Azerbaijan in a short period of time over the last few months were a sign of the sides’ interest in bilateral cooperation in various fields, particularly in the field of energy. Azerbaijan is also involved in projects with the countries of the region within multilateral formats together with the European Union (EU). In this context, two major agreements signed this year provide a good basis for this cooperation both in the imports of natural gas and importantly green energy, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. These developments in the relations between Azerbaijan and the Eastern European countries brings with it also geopolitical approximation between the sides. As President Aliyev stated following the signing of the electricity deal in Bucharest, Azerbaijan’s contribution to European energy security creates an important bridge between the EU and Azerbaijan. The bridge between the two shores of the Black Sea forms a larger security architecture which increase the resilience of the regional countries in the face of national security challenges they face.
dennis2020 Mon, 12/26/2022 - 10:59
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News
EU continues to develop its tools in support of its objective to contribute to peace in the South Caucasus.

EU continues to develop its tools in support of its objective to contribute to peace in the South Caucasus.

The European Union continues to develop its tools in support of its objective to contribute to peace and security in the South Caucasus.  On Monday (19 December), the EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia (EUMCAP), launched in October, completed its mandate. Based on the agreement between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, European Council and France, the EUMCAP was deployed on 20 October along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan with the objective of monitoring, analysing and reporting on the situation on the ground. EU leaders, meeting in Brussels last week, assessed the wotk of the mission and the way forward. A statement by the European External Action Service on Monday stated that, "the Council – in agreement with Armenia’s authorities - decided that the existing EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia) will deploy a transitional planning assistance team in Armenia to enhance the EU’s awareness of the security situation, and contribute to the planning and preparation of a possible civilian CSDP mission in the country. The transitional planning assistance team is also expected to support the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in the EU-facilitated normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan."
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: 2022 started promising from the perspective of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan but prospects for 2023 are bleak

Opinion: 2022 started promising from the perspective of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan but prospects for 2023 are bleak

Russia's attempts to show Armenia and Azerbaijan its red lines during the summit in Sochi on 31 October disrupted a positive moment in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations that had been ongoing throughout 2022. A deterioration in Azerbaijan-Iran relations has further hightened tensions in the region. "One can foresee that new escalations and hostilities will be imminent, if the peace efforts fail to deliver tangible outcomes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and if some external actors continue to fuel the tensions in the region", writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.