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.

Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: Historic developments are taking place in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, but the signing of a peace treaty will likely take a longer time

Opinion: Historic developments are taking place in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, but the signing of a peace treaty will likely take a longer time

On May 22, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Brussels with the mediation of European Council President Charles Michel to discuss the peace process. It is worth noting that since the beginning of this year, the representatives of the two South Caucasian republics have met exclusively via the mediation of the EU, while the only Russia-mediated meeting – that of the foreign ministers held on May 12 –  took place on the sidelines of another major event and brought about no novelty in the negotiations. The Brussels summit, however, delivered some very important outcomes which, if implemented, will constitute a critical breakthrough in the peace process. The quick implementation of some of the issues agreed by president Aliyev and prime minister Pashinyan at their meeting in Brussels, can be described as truly historic, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed. "But the signing of a peace treaty will likely take a longer time, and necessitate an agreement not only between Baku and Yerevan, but also between Moscow and Brussels", he adds.
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News
South Ossetia gets a young leader, but his message is old and rusty

South Ossetia gets a young leader, but his message is old and rusty

It was a piece of surreal political theatre of the sort that have become increasingly popular with the choreographers of the Kremlin. On Tuesday (24 May ) the liliputian self-declared Republic of South Ossetia, a de facto Russian protectorate, got a new president. Alan Gagloev was sworn-in at the theatre on Tskhinvali's main square. The choreography was perfect: a military guard of honour, a swearing in ceremony, and delegations of "foreign countries", except they represented other self declared entities such as Abkhazia, Lugansk, Donetsk, Nagorno-Karabakh etc. Most of the world still recognise South Ossetia as part of Georgia. Gagloev came to power unexpectedly, having defeated the incumbent Anatoly Bibilov in elections on May 17. The number of people who voted for him was 16,134 (representing 56.09% of the electorate). Bibilov left his successor a time bomb, due to go off on 17 July, in the form of a referendum calling for South Ossetia's unification with Russia. The Kremlin does not seem to be impressed. Gagloev made no reference to the referendum in his inauguration speech today, but he did heap praise on Russia and promised eternal friendship.

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Editor's choice
Analysis
The 6th Eastern Partnership summit is a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours

The 6th Eastern Partnership summit is a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours

The summit of the leaders of the European Union and of the countries of the Eastern Partnership takes place in Brussels tomorrow (Wednesday, 15 December). It promises to be a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its neighbours to the east: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In this analysis, the research team of commonspace.eu explore the issues under discussion and explore why for the first time an EaP summit has attracted considerable public attention.
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Editorial
Editorial: It seems that in Moscow they forgot how to count from 1 to 3

Editorial: It seems that in Moscow they forgot how to count from 1 to 3

The Russians persisted in presenting a gathering in Moscow on Friday as a meeting of " 3 + 3 ", when in fact only five countries were present, and it was more the case of 2 + 3. Diplomatic deceit is not the basis on which South Caucasus regional co-operation should be built.
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News
 Armenian and Azerbaijani experts send joint recommendations on process of confidence-building in the South Caucasus to Eastern Partnership summit

Armenian and Azerbaijani experts send joint recommendations on process of confidence-building in the South Caucasus to Eastern Partnership summit

In their letter to European Council President, Charles Michel, the experts say that the EU Eastern Partnership Summit on 15 December offers an opportunity for a qualitative step forward in the process of peace in the South Caucasus.
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News
"Trio countries" push for closer relations with EU

"Trio countries" push for closer relations with EU

At a meeting with EU Council president, Charles Michel, the prime ministers of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine reaffirmed their common position that the forthcoming Eastern Partnership summit should offer the partner states new opportunities on the path toward further EU integration based on the differentiation and more for more principles. The parties also discussed the priorities and directions important in terms of deeper cooperation between the three countries and the EU.
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Opinion
Opinion: After the Sochi summit, a qualitatively different stage in  Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations

Opinion: After the Sochi summit, a qualitatively different stage in Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations

The trilateral meeting between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, held in Sochi on 26 November, "was a constructive stage in the post-war peace process in the region and has opened up new prospects for peace and reconciliation between Armenia and Azerbaijan", says Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed.
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Opinion
Opinion: Brussels should develop a customised platform to take forward a trialogue with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Opinion: Brussels should develop a customised platform to take forward a trialogue with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"In their active search of new approaches and strategies, European officials should keep in mind that antagonizing Russia would result in unexpected developments in the region. Instead, stabilization of the situation requires cooperation with Moscow", writes Alexander Petrosyan in this op-ed
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News
Joint statement by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia hails the start of a new era of good-neighbourly relations in the South Caucasus

Joint statement by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia hails the start of a new era of good-neighbourly relations in the South Caucasus

The long awaited meeting of the three leaders came after more than one year since the end of the 44 day Karabakh war, during which the process to bring peace and stability to the South Caucasus appeared to be faltering. The Sochi meeting has been hailed by the three countries participating in it as a success, and as a start of a new chapter in relations.
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Opinion
Two leaders; two meetings; two intermediaries

Two leaders; two meetings; two intermediaries

Sochi and Brussels will be two different meetings and they need to be approached differently by all sides. The EU should not try to replicate Sochi in Brussels. That would be both disingenuous and unachievable. But with some astute diplomacy and a measure of goodwill from all sides, the Brussels meeting can also be meaningful, and can in the long term end up being even more significant for the future peace and prosperity of the South Caucasus.