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,

Briefing: intensive diplomatic efforts around the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process
Intense diplomatic efforts over the last month are a good reflection of a sustained determination on the part of Armenia and Azerbaijan to bring their decades-old conflict to an end, and sign a peace agreement, writes Meetings between president Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and prime minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia were held in Brussels on 15 May, with the mediation of EU Council president Charles Michel. The three leaders met again on 1 June in Chisinau, this time also with the participation of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Aliyev and Pashinyan met, together with president Putin of Russia, in Moscow on 25 May. And on 4 June the leaders of both Armenia and Azerbaijan were in Ankara for the inauguration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s new term in office, where they also met informally. The next formal meeting is now set to be held in July in Brussels. A lot is also going on behind the scenes with European and American envoys travelling in the region.
patrickn97 Fri, 06/09/2023 - 11:21 Opinion: we may still be far from an Armenia-Azerbaijan peace treaty

Current circumstances in the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process raise a number of questions, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for "Above all, it is unclear whether Baku and Yerevan will be able to stand resilient against all this pressure from the Russian side.

patrickn97 Fri, 06/09/2023 - 09:57

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Garibashvili and Michel discuss Georgia EU accession in Brussels

Garibashvili and Michel discuss Georgia EU accession in Brussels

The Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili and the President of the European Council Charles Michel met in Brussels on Tuesday (25 April) to review Georgia's progress towards membership of the EU. According to a press release from the Georgian government, "Irakli Garibashvili briefed the President of the European Council about Georgia’s efforts toward fulfilling the European Commission’s 12 priorities and pointed out that, in this process, the authorities maintain continuous consultations with EU institutions and member states, also the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR." Garibashvili also stressed the importance of granting Georgia candidate status by the end of the year because "a large portion of the recommendations has been fulfilled". The Georgian Prime Minister also argued that EU-Georgia Association Agreement, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU, visa-free travel, and the recently granted European perspective "demonstrate Georgia’s progress toward European integration". 
Georgia and Azerbaijan agree defence cooperation deal

Georgia and Azerbaijan have agreed on a defence cooperation deal on Monday (24 April).

Georgian Defence Minister Juansher Burchuladze and Azerbaijani Defence Minister Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, met and signed the deal in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.

patrickn97 Tue, 04/25/2023 - 09:33
Editorial: Missed opportunities in the South Caucasus
The last two weeks have seen missed opportunities for the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process, and for the Georgian government to establish facts and proving the truth over the US sanctioning of four Georgian judges, writes in this editorial. Instead of building trust and confidence, the burning of the Azerbaijani flag at the European Weightlifting Championships in Yerevan "further entrenched the enemy imagery". Meanwhile in Georgia, "by obstructing the establishment of a parliamentary investigative commission to assess the US accusations against Georgian judges, the Georgian government missed an opportunity to deal openly and transparently with what is clearly a very sensitive and controversial issue."
patrickn97 Thu, 04/20/2023 - 12:21
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Editorial: more Armenian and Azerbaijani fatalities are a result of the failure of the peace process so far

Editorial: more Armenian and Azerbaijani fatalities are a result of the failure of the peace process so far

Another serious incident between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces happened on Tuesday (11 April) in the border area of Tegh, resulting in several Armenian and Azerbaijani servicemen being killed or injured. In Armenia, as in Azerbaijan, someone lost a son; someone lost a husband; someone lost a father. One can argue about who started, who shot first, and why. The truth is that incidents like this are going to continue happening for as long as the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaderships do not finish what they started, and take the necessary steps to normalise relations between them. Normalisation leading to peace, leading eventually to co-operation, is the endgame that both sides have publicly committed to. But the process continues to drag on as both sides remain attached to maximalist or unattainable positions. This state of affairs can drag on for a long time to come unless there is a resolute political will to move forward. And in the meantime, young Armenians and young Azerbaijanis die on a regular basis. Let’s be clear, every casualty is a sign of the failure of the political leadership, and declaring the victims heroes is not enough.