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.

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Opinion
Opinion: In the South Caucasus there is a new hope for peace

Opinion: In the South Caucasus there is a new hope for peace

For the first time in decades, in the South Caucasus there is a new hope for peace. In separate articles for our sister website, Karabakhspace.eu, Benyamin Poghosyan and Vasif Huseynov discuss recent developments, including the emerging role of Georgia as a trusted intermediary.
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News
Thousands rally in Tbilisi calling for the release of former president Saakashvili

Thousands rally in Tbilisi calling for the release of former president Saakashvili

Saakashvili remains popular with some segments of Georgian society, particularly in Western Georgia. Thousands travelled to Tbilisi to participate in the rally. However many Georgians have negative memories of Saakashvili's presidency and do not want to see his return to public office.

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News
Georgia launches "Peaceful Neighbourhood Initiative" but gives few details

Georgia launches "Peaceful Neighbourhood Initiative" but gives few details

commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the Georgian initiative, although for the moment short on detail, is very timely. There is in the South Caucasus a sense that a window of opportunity now exists to try to bring to a solution some of the many outstanding issues that have caused tensions and conflicts since the collapse of the Soviet Union. There are already a number of ideas floating around about possible formations for taking forward the process for regional peace, including a Turkish one which proposes a 3+3 format. The Georgian initiative appears to be very different, but leaves many questions yet unanswered. But the very fact that Georgia has committed to such a process is a positive development.
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Opinion
 Opinion: After thirty years of modern statehood Armenia has little to celebrate, yet if it acts reasonably it can overcome its present predicament

Opinion: After thirty years of modern statehood Armenia has little to celebrate, yet if it acts reasonably it can overcome its present predicament

Armenia is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence but whilst it has all the attributes of a modern state a lot of its institutions are hollow. There is much that can be done, and if it acts reasonably, Armenia can celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence in twenty years’ time in a much more positive atmosphere, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this anniversary op-ed. 
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More signs of a thaw in Armenian-Turkish relations

More signs of a thaw in Armenian-Turkish relations

At a government meeting in Yerevan on Wednesday, 8 September, Armenian  Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan touched upon the issue of normalising relations with Turkey. He referred to comments made recently by Turkish president Recip Tayip Erdogan and said that his government was ready for discussions with the Turkish side.
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Opinion
Opinion: Armenia and Turkey again try to normalise relations, and this time it may work

Opinion: Armenia and Turkey again try to normalise relations, and this time it may work

"It is likely that Armenia and Turkey are close to making an official announcement about the launch of a new normalisation process. It may result in establishing diplomatic relations, and in Turkey deciding to open its border with Armenia", says Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed.
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Opinion
Opinion: An alternative view of Georgia’s European identity and past history

Opinion: An alternative view of Georgia’s European identity and past history

Georgia intends to submit an application for membership of the European Union in 2024. Whilst most Georgians assert the country’s European identity, alternative views are emerging. In this op-ed, GIPA doctoral student Archil Sikharulidze challenges the concept of Georgian “Europeaness”, and those who promote it.
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Friends in need: praise for Georgia and Azerbaijan for their role in the evacuation of Kabul

Friends in need: praise for Georgia and Azerbaijan for their role in the evacuation of Kabul

Both Georgia and Azerbaijan have been providing essential transit support for the evacuation from Kabul airport. 120 Azerbaijani soldiers returned back from Afghanistan on Friday (27 August) having been part of the defence of Kabul airport until the end. A larger Georgian contingent returned from the north of the country recently.
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Opinion
Opinion: Under President Raisi, Iran remains very interested in the South Caucasus, and in remaining a player in the region

Opinion: Under President Raisi, Iran remains very interested in the South Caucasus, and in remaining a player in the region

The presence in Tehran of the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, for the inauguration of incoming-president Ebrahim Raisi underscored the significance of relations with Iran for Armenia in the post-2020 Karabakh war context, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed where he also discusses Iran's deep interest in the South Caucasus region.
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Opinion
Opinion: Azerbaijan expects the EU to be more balanced in its policies toward the South Caucasus

Opinion: Azerbaijan expects the EU to be more balanced in its policies toward the South Caucasus

Whilst the EU is seen as a valuable partner for Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus, Baku has several concerns over perceived inconsistencies. In this op-ed for commonspace.eu, Vasif Huseynov says Azerbaijan welcomes Brussels playing a more active role in the region but argues that it must maintain balance in its relations with each of the countries.
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It's that Vladimir again

It's that Vladimir again

Azerbaijan has issued a diplomatic demarche to Russia following an outburst of criticism by Russian maverick politician, Vladimir Zhirinovski. The Russian Charge' d'affairs in Baku was summoned to the foreign ministry on Sunday morning and handed a protest note following comments made on air by Zhirinovski during an interview on July 30 on Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station.