By Stephen Blank
April 27, 2020, the CACI Analyst
Crises are often telling indicators of an institution’s fitness. The Coronavirus pandemic is currently putting governments and regional institutions like the EU under profoundly challenging stress tests. Another such regional institution is the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which Russian President Vladimir Putin and its champions have claimed is organized along the lines of the EU. Whatever the EU’s successes or failures, it is clear that the EEU has failed to display even a semblance of the EU’s cohesion. Moscow has simply disregarded the interests of its partners and pursued a sharply unilateralist policy that seriously complicated if not threatened its partners’ economies, particularly in Central Asia.
By Natalia Konarzewska
February 3, 2020, the CACI Analyst
The end of 2019 saw increasing diplomatic activity between Azerbaijan and Russia, at a time when Russia wants to strengthen its profile in Azerbaijan and bring the country closer to Moscow-promoted multilateral initiatives. This is partly due to Azerbaijan’s increasing geopolitical importance to the West and China, being a key participant in the Southern Gas Corridor and a prospectively important one in the Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Russia also wants Azerbaijan to counterbalance its traditional South Caucasus ally Armenia, whereas Azerbaijan expects Russia’s assistance in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is nevertheless unlikely to materialize.
By Armen Grigoryan
December 21, 2017, the CACI Analyst
The new framework agreement between Armenia and the European Union creates some opportunities to implement governance reforms and to amend the legal framework, which would improve the investment climate. The new agreement excludes free trade provisions which would contradict Armenia’s commitment to the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Meanwhile, EEU membership continues to undermine the welfare of Armenian citizens, despite previous official assurances, while the lack of political will deriving from both internal and external factors may potentially limit the government’s readiness to implement reforms.
By Natalia Konarzewska
June 22, 2017, the CACI Analyst
Armenia has recently sought to reinvigorate its relationship with NATO and the European Union, despite its membership in Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). In late March, Armenia initialed a new Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU, intended to upgrade bilateral political and economic ties. Moreover, during his recent visit to NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, President Serzh Sargsyan reaffirmed Armenia’s intent to continue top level political dialogue with NATO and the country’s willingness to enhance the scope of joint activities. The push to rekindle relations with NATO and the EU amidst one of the most serious standoffs between Russia and the West suggests that Armenia, which is one of Moscow’s most loyal allies, is reassessing its ties with Russia and Russia-led international blocks.
By Armen Grigoryan
January 12th, 2017, The CACI Analyst
Further negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue seem to be practically postponed until Armenia completes its parliamentary elections in April 2017. At the same time, the government demonstrates an unwillingness to proceed beyond rhetoric with governance and economic reforms. The administration’s inability to deliver satisfactory economic results and ensure social development, as well as its close connections with Russia with a strong clientelism component, suggest a further growth of dependence and compliance with Moscow’s political agenda.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.