By Alman Mir Ismail
July 14, 2017, the CACI Analyst
Azerbaijani-Russian relations have been on the rise in recent year thanks to strong political dialogues between the two Presidents and the growth of mutually beneficial trade relations. Yet recent events in Moscow have damaged this trend. Azerbaijan considers the closure of its diaspora organization in Russia as an insult to bilateral friendship. At the same time, the escalation of Armenian attacks on Azerbaijani villages is seen as being blessed by the Kremlin. These developments could hurt Russia’s strategic position in Azerbaijan and push official Baku to seek security arrangements elsewhere.
By Eduard Abrahamyan
July 11, 2017, the CACI Analyst
In early March, Georgia’s Defense Ministry announced the details of the NATO-backed Noble Partner-2017 multinational drills, scheduled for July 30. Armenia and Azerbaijan are set to participate in the exercises, along with 11 other NATO partners and allies. Noble Partner will be the first large-scale practical NATO initiative gathering Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani troops to perform a common task. Moreover, Montenegro's NATO accession seems to have renewed the impetus for the South Caucasian states to reengage with the Alliance. However, the question is whether Yerevan and Baku are capable of defying Russia’s potential reaction to their renewed endeavor to cooperate with NATO in terms of joint exercises.
By Najia Badykova
June 27, 2017, the CACI Analyst
In May, Beijing hosted a summit of global leaders on its One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative, a most ambitious project aimed to recreate the ancient Silk Road, connecting China’s industrial heartland to Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East. Given the gigantic scale of the scheme, the geostrategic and economic impact on Central Asian trade and development will be significant. Yet it is unlikely to benefit everyone equally. The less developed and poorer countries along the proposed routes, including those in Central Asia, will face serious challenges if they assume that this initiative alone can fix their economic problems, and use it as an excuse to further delay needed market reforms while coping with the effects of the massive Chinese initiative.
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.
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.