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Research Report

The South Caucasus:: a challenge for the EU

Pavel Baev
Bruno Coppieters
Svante E. Cornell
David Darchiashvili
Arman Grigorian
Dov Lynch
John Roberts
Domitilla Sagramoso
Brenda Shaffer
Arif Yunusov
Edited by Dov Lynch
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2003
Pages: 209
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep07037
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 9-22)
    Dov Lynch

    The South Caucasus contains three states that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Geographically, the region is populated by some fifteen million people, links the Caspian Sea basin to the Black Sea on an east-to-west axis, and is the juncture between the greater Middle East, Turkey and Iran, and the Russian Federation. This chapter will introduce a number of themes that run through this Chaillot Paper. The first part examines the nature of the ‘transition’ that the three South Caucasian states have undergone with a view to understanding the scale of their transformation. A...

  2. (pp. 23-40)
    Svante E. Cornell

    The South Caucasus is plagued by a long list of security threats. These include first and foremost the deadlocked armed conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia; the complicated nature of regional states’ relations with each other and their larger neighbours, most notably Georgia with Russia, Armenia with Turkey and Azerbaijan with Iran; domestic political instability, looming succession crises and economic recession that has not yet been overcome. All these problems, and their severe implications, nevertheless obscure the salience of a growing threat to the societal, economic, and political security of the South Caucasian states – the increasing role of...

  3. (pp. 41-52)
    Pavel Baev

    Russia’s policies in the Caucasus are subject to strikingly different interpretations, which remain as contradictory now as they were a decade ago at the peak of escalation of several violent conflicts. An explanation for the width of the spectrum of assessments should not be sought only in the diversity of conceptual models applied by analysts or in the emotional involvement of particular commentators. Russian policy itself should be recognised as an extraordinary complex and incoherent combination of unsustainable aspirations, incompatible interests and uncoordinated activities. Its key paradox is perhaps the lack of connection between its desire to dominate a region...

  4. (pp. 53-62)
    Brenda Shaffer

    Since 2002, the United States has been conducting an activist policy in the South Caucasus. As a whole, Washington now views the US presence and policy in this region as a component of its larger Middle East and anti-terrorism policies. In addition, since the late 1990s – especially in the post-11 September 2001 era – the United States has viewed the energy resources of Azerbaijan in two ways: first, as a contributor to global oil supply diversification and second, as oil in the margins (an effective tool for lowering oil prices). Washington views cooperation with Moscow in the Caucasus as...

  5. (pp. 63-90)
    Domitilla Sagramoso

    Twelve years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the newly independent states of the South Caucasus still face a vast array of major security challenges – unresolved military conflicts, uncontrolled territories, open borders, smuggling of arms and drugs, corruption, economic disruption, poverty and widespread population displacements. Local and regional actors, as well as the international community as a whole, have so far proven unable effectively to address and resolve these major challenges, despite significant efforts in a variety of areas. Major international and security organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe...

  6. (pp. 91-106)
    John Roberts

    The Caspian is important not because it is one of the world’s major producing areas, but because it is likely to become one of the biggest producing areas in the world in which actual oil production remains essentially in the hands of market-oriented international energy companies. Its particular importance to Europe is that most of the additional Caspian oil and gas output is likely to move westwards to European and Mediterranean markets, although some oil will move by tanker to the giant US East Coast market.

    One paradox is that the most likely plans for development of both regional resources...

  7. (pp. 107-128)
    David Darchiashvili

    Security is one of the most dynamic concepts in political thought dedicated to international, national or subnational affairs. Usually, it implies protection of ‘internal’ national or societal values.¹ According to the tradition of the ‘realist’ school, international security relies on the balance between powers, while a state’s security depends on its components of power. However, realism does not focus only on measuring the material strengths of states: security also relies on the quality of the government and its degree of societal legitimisation.² The maximisation of security must be achieved with minimal sacrifices of other societal values.³ The dilemmas of the...

  8. (pp. 129-142)
    Arman Grigorian

    The European Union’s (EU) recognition of the need to become closely involved in the South Caucasus is a development that must be welcomed and encouraged. The EU is an organisation with immense, and growing, influence on the world stage, and with increasingly important political and economic ties to the region. It is also an organisation that, unlike many other third parties, enjoys the trust and admiration of all the states and societies in the South Caucasus. Europe has been and remains the ideal to which practically all relevant political actors in all three states aspire. Consequently, it is entirely reasonable...

  9. (pp. 143-158)
    Arif Yunusov

    2003 has been an important year for Azerbaijan. With all the uncertainties surrounding the epoch-ending presidential elections, a number of questions are worth posing. What can one expect for Azerbaijan in the near- and medium-term? What are the external security threats to its security? Which internal factors of development have an influence on the country’s stability? How might these developments affect the South Caucasus as a whole? Finally, what might be done to prevent the rise of instability in Azerbaijan?

    This chapter will examine the external and internal factors that are at play in affecting the stability/instability of Azerbaijan. These...

  10. (pp. 159-170)
    Bruno Coppieters

    The resources allocated by the EU in the South Caucasus – over a billion euros for the period 1991-2000 – have not produced the expected results.² As a consequence, the EU has not decided to withdraw or to diminish its involvement but, on the contrary, to enhance its political profile in the region. The Greek government, holding the Presidency of the EU for the first half of 2003, supported a proposal, first made in 2001 by the German government, to appoint an EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus. The appointment of such a representative is a complex procedure which...

  11. (pp. 171-196)
    Dov Lynch

    On 11 March 2003, the European Commission published its Communication ‘Wider Europe – Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours’, which launched a debate about EU policy towards its new neighbours.² The South Caucasus was a footnote in the Communication: ‘Given their location, the Southern Caucasus therefore also falls outside the geographic scope of this initiative for the time being.’ Then, in June 2003, the three South Caucasian states, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, were rescued from obscurity in the draft EU Security Strategy, written by Javier Solana and approved at the Thessaloniki summit.³ The draft...