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Tag: South Caucasus

Georgians want a better future

Last year, Georgia’s government proposed a controversial “foreign agents” law similar to that in Russia. While protests forced the authorities to back down at the time, a renewed attempt has resulted in more demonstrations demanding a European future for the country.

May 15, 2024 - Mark Temnycky

High time for Armenia’s Euro-Atlantic integration

Following the end of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, it is clear that Armenia is embracing the possibility of Euro-Atlantic integration. While the country still faces many internal and external problems, a desire for closer links is clear at the levels of both state and society.

April 29, 2024 - Valentina Gevorgyan

Battle for democracy continues in Georgia: why the EU cannot afford to overlook it

As Western elections unfold in a politically fragmented environment in 2024, there is a looming risk of the EU overlooking significant political shifts leading up to Georgia’s crucial parliamentary elections on October 26th. Ignoring these developments and omitting the provision of necessary support beyond the soft-power toolbox to the Georgian people could jeopardize Georgia’s hard-fought EU integration process.

April 25, 2024 - Ia Khodeli Irakli Jgharkava Kristina Pitalskaya 

Dark clouds over Azerbaijan

A decade after the times of “Caviar Diplomacy” when Azerbaijan would buy up support from the delegates of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the mood among European politicians has turned a full 180 degrees. The Azerbaijani delegation was excluded from the sessions for a year by a clear majority of the votes for the “persistent violation of norms and standards of the institution” and a lack of cooperation with PACE. Is this the beginning of the end of Baku’s participation in the Council of Europe?

April 17, 2024 - Anna Zamejc

Issue 3/2024: South Caucasus out of balance

How the region struggles to break free from the shadow of conflict. Issue 3/2024 is now available for purchase and download!

April 11, 2024 - New Eastern Europe

The legacy of the displaced in the South Caucasus: from yesterday till today

The South Caucasus is no stranger to the plight of displaced persons. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, refugees and internally displaced persons have numbered in the hundreds of thousands due to conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Recent geopolitical shifts, such as Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and Azerbaijan’s 24-hour military offensive, have reignited concerns about this unresolved issue and the ongoing challenges faced by displaced persons in the region.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 was heralded by many western politicians, academics and others as a largely peaceful event. For many Central Asians and South Caucasians, however, it was far from tranquil. Tajikistan experienced a devastating civil war (1992-97). Georgia fought two wars with Russia over the regions of Abkhazia (1992-93) and South Ossetia (1991-92), while Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh (1992-94). Both Georgia and Azerbaijan were left with large internally displaced person (IDP) populations, the vast majority of whom are still displaced today.

April 11, 2024 - Jennifer S. Wistrand

Ivanishvili’s third coming. Georgian democracy ahead of elections

As Georgia prepares for the 2024 parliamentary elections, it faces challenges that threaten the nation’s already fragile democracy and undermine its pro-European stance. Given the problems of a fragmented opposition, overwhelming public distrust in political parties and the return of the pro-Russian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili on the political stage, the upcoming elections are expected to be a defining point for Georgia’s democracy and European path.

Georgia, a country whose democratic system has been shaken lately, is now facing a critical test of its democracy as it gears up for the 2024 parliamentary elections. The elections will determine if the Georgian Dream (GD) party stays in power for a fourth term. The upcoming elections have become more important since Georgia received EU candidacy status in 2023. While a significant step towards the country’s Europeanization, candidate status does not formally guarantee EU membership.

April 11, 2024 - Nino Chanadiri

Azerbaijani presidential elections: reasons and possible implications

Azerbaijan’s recent presidential elections reveal a great amount about the country’s current political outlook. While the timing of the vote may be related to potential internal reforms, a possible peace agreement with Armenia remains the country's top priority on the global stage.

March 26, 2024 - Murad Muradov Rusif Huseynov

“The most boring elections in the history of Azerbaijan”

An interview with journalist Cavid Ağa. Interviewer: Aleksej Tilman.

March 4, 2024 - Aleksej Tilman Cavid Ağa

The South Caucasus after Nagorno-Karabakh

In September 2023 Azerbaijan regained control of Nagorno-Karabakh, prompting more than 100,000 Armenians who had been living in the territory to flee to Armenia. This development marks a significant change for the South Caucasus, and while it adds to existing tensions, it may also result in the long-term in a more stable region that is less dependent on Russia.

The South Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia rarely make the headlines in western news sources. However, that changed in autumn 2023. On September 19th, Azerbaijan launched an unexpected 24-hour military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh that resulted in the region’s de facto government surrendering to Azerbaijan. Those who have followed the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades know that the outcome of September’s military offensive has the potential to upend security in the South Caucasus.

February 7, 2024 - Jennifer S. Wistrand

Georgian citizens prepare for 2024

It looks likely that Georgia will make a choice between East or West next year. While the government continues to favour stronger links with Russia, the Georgian people still show great support for European integration. The upcoming parliamentary elections will therefore prove pivotal.

December 20, 2023 - Mark Temnycky

Tbilisi as a venue for Azerbaijani-Armenian negotiations?

Georgia has maintained a policy of neutrality for many years when it comes to the Karabakh conflict. Having acted as a mediator on certain occasions in the past, Tbilisi could now host talks that provide a proper solution to its neighbours’ ongoing dispute.

December 4, 2023 - Nicholas Chkhaidze

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