By Mina Muradova
October 7th, the CACI Analyst
On September 10, 2015, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution calling on Azerbaijan’s authorities to respect to human rights and essential freedoms. According to the resolution, “The overall human rights situation in Azerbaijan has deteriorated continuously over the last few years, with growing intimidation and repression and intensification of the practice of criminal prosecution of NGO leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society representatives.” European MPs condemned the “unprecedented repression against civil society” in Azerbaijan and urged Azerbaijan to “immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners from jail,” to drop all charges against them and to fully restore their political and civil rights and public image.
By Eka Janashia
October 12th, the CACI Analyst
On September 18, one day after his release from jail, Tbilisi’s city court returned Gigi Ugulava – the leader of opposition United National Movement (UNM) party and former Tbilisi mayor – to prison. The court found Ugulava guilty of misspending public funds and sentenced him to four years and six months in prison. The original sentence implied a nine-year term, but the act of amnesty, adopted by the Georgian parliament in 2012, halved his time in jail.
By Carolin Funke
October 6th, 2015, The CACI Analyst
In the absence of Euro-Atlantic guarantees for deeper economic and political integration, Georgia is further diversifying its cooperation with states outside the Western hemisphere. Over the last year, Georgia has particularly been strengthening ties with the People’s Republic of China, which seeks to increase its presence in the South Caucasus as part of its Silk Road Economic Belt. Due to declining Western involvement in the region, the U.S. and European Union have little reason to complain about Tbilisi’s new alignments. Nevertheless, anchoring China as a long-term player in the region will likely lead to a further decline of Western influence in Georgia.
By Erik Davtyan
September 28th, the CACI Analyst
On September 7, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan visited Moscow and met his counterpart Vladimir Putin. This meeting, which took place nearly two years after President Sargsyan declared Armenia’s decision to join the Russia-led Customs Union, is the fourth in this year. The first meeting in 2015 took place in April, when Putin attended the events dedicated to the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial. The second and third meetings took place in May and July when Sargsyan attended the events in Moscow dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War and then during the joint summit of BRICS, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and SCO leaders in Ufa.
By Eduard Abrahamyan
September 30th, 2015, The CACI Analyst
Since a few months, Armenia’s civil society, expert community and military are debating the threat that the terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS) poses to Armenia. In parallel, disillusionment is growing with the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and its reaction to the escalation in tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Since at least three out of six CSTO members continually sell arms to Azerbaijan, it is now disputed whether the organization is capable and willing to ensure Armenia’s security. In this atmosphere, the idea has recently emerged that Armenia could reduce its dependence on Russia and restore relations with the West by joining the global coalition against ISIS.
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.