South Caucasus

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Russia’s War in Ukraine and Reconfiguration in the South Caucasus

At the beginning of September 2022, Azerbaijan launched a massive artillery bombardment of neighbouring Armenia, using military force outside the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time in decades. The timing was not a coincidence: Russian forces were too heavily engaged in Ukraine to intervene elsewhere. This demonstration of the CSTO’s impotence as a collective defence organisation and Moscow’s inability to provide military aid to strategic partners will likely have lasting impact on the security dynamics of the South Caucasus.

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Russia and Karabakh: A Diplomatic Triumph and Dubious Victory

Ever since the oft-violated cease-fire accord of 1994, Russian interests have defined the art of the possible in Karabakh. Whether Russia connived in conflicts, acquiesced in them or prevented them, the protagonists understood that it would be their ultimate arbiter. Even Russia’s titular partners in the OSCE Minsk Group — perhaps the sole format of post-Cold War cooperation to preserve its relevance — never challenged its standing as first amongst equals. Whatever its ups and downs, this was a closed game.

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Pragmatic Approach Towards Russia – Option or Illusion?

The issue of developing and implementing national policy towards Russia has always been a pertinent subject for post-Soviet states as they have sought to ensure their own security. Governments have tried a number of different approaches, among which is the so-called “pragmatic approach.” Its most vivid embodiment is the policy of the current Georgian government with regards to Russia. Notably, it should be mentioned that almost all political forces that have come to power in Georgia have attempted to improve or at least normalize relations with Russia. However, each of these attempts was followed by disappointment.

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Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia Mr. David Rakviashvili’s visit to ICDS

On Monday the 20th of March 2017 a group of researchers from ICDS, as well as guests from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute and the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association met with the Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia Mr. David Rakviashvili, and the Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia Mr. Ivane Matchavariani, in the presence of the Ambassador of Georgia to Estonia HE Tea Akhvlediani.

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