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Research Report

Geo-strategy in the South Caucasus: Power Play and Energy Security of States and Organisations

Marcel de Haas (Editor)
Andrej Tibold
Vincent Cillessen
Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2006
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 95

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. (pp. 1-2)
  3. (pp. 3-4)
  4. (pp. 5-8)

    This paper addresses with political, military, energy, economic and social circumstances and problems in the Caucasus region. In itself, this topic is both vast and broad, making it impossible to discuss in detail in a short study such as this. Therefore we have set the following boundaries for this research.

    First, the geographic span will not cover the Caucasus as a whole but will be reduced to the South Caucasus. The North Caucasus is a part of the Russian Federation, which implies that other actors outside the Russian authorities have neither substantial influence in regards to the security situation, nor...

  5. (pp. 9-16)

    When dealing with politics and energy, the terms ‘geo-strategy’, ‘geopolitics’, ‘geo-economics’, ‘energy policy’ and ‘energy security’ are frequently used. These terms are often applied in a mixed up manner, which leads to confusion. Therefore, to avoid this problem, we will first formulate working definitions of these terms, prior to applying them to the South Caucasus.

    Geopolitics concerns the political and strategic significance of geography. More specifically, geopolitics is comprised of the distribution of political and military power. It analyses the links and causal relationships between political power and geographic space. In addition, it explains how factors such as the size...

  6. (pp. 17-36)

    After the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s the newly independent Georgia faced an internal power struggle as well as separatist uprisings in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Ajaria. Since the West was not eager to get involved, Georgia had to agree to Russian conditions. Besides becoming a member of the CIS in 1993, Georgia had to accept the presence of Russian military bases on Georgian soil. In exchange for these concessions Moscow halted the further disintegration of Georgia (see further ‘Frozen conflicts’).24 The internal armed conflicts, which destroyed much infrastructure (roads, railways, pipelines, industries), as well as the...

  7. (pp. 37-46)

    After the demise of the Soviet Union, Turkey launched a campaign to establish good contacts with former Soviet republics possessing an ethnic Turkic population: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Relations with Armenia are tense for a number of reasons, including in particular the Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide of 1915. Furthermore, relations are tense because of the alleged claims of Armenia on Turkish territory where predominantly Armenians used to live. And finally, there are tensions over Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan.96.

    Relations between Turkey and Georgia are rather good. Turkey supports the Georgian economy to strengthen its position in...

  8. (pp. 47-66)

    In the early 1990s the US did not have a coherent Caucasus policy, partly because of unfamiliarity of policy makers with the region. In these years the US policy was aimed at addressing the Central Europeans first, and then looking for the next series of alliances. By the time of 9/11 the wave of relationships suddenly expanded to Central Asia, but because of long neglect, the attempt largely failed, with Uzbekistan among others, returning to the Russian camp. Subsequently, the USA refocused the emphasis of its foreign and security policy to the Caucasus.

    Initially the US policy towards the South...

  9. (pp. 67-74)

    The aim of this work was to provide a response to the following research questions:

    What are the main geo-strategic, geopolitical and geo-economic issues in the South Caucasus?

    What is the current situation with regard to the frozen conflicts, i.e. Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

    Considering developments in security and energy politics, what lies ahead for the South Caucasus?

    At all levels – local, regional and global – state and organisational actors are actively pursuing their geo-strategic objectives in the South Caucasus. Because of the complexity and intertwining of military, political, economic and...

  10. (pp. 79-90)
  11. (pp. 91-92)
  12. (pp. 93-93)