In a surprise development, on September 3, 2013, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian announced a dramatic “U-turn” in Armenian policy. While in Moscow, after being summoned to a meeting with his Russian counterpart, the Armenian president promised Russian officials that Armenia would join the Russian-led “Customs Union,” and would support Moscow’s efforts to “integrate” the former Soviet space. That decision effectively ended Armenia’s planned “initializing” of an Association Agreement and related Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the European Union set for the Vilnius Summit in late November 2013.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs recently released a report from a joint meeting on September 18, 2013 focusing on “Turkey-Armenia Relations.” The meeting included an “exchange of views” and “the presentation of a joint report on relations between Turkey and Armenia” by Richard Giragosian (Armenia) and Cengiz Aktar (Turkey).
The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) South Caucasus has recently published a new book with contributions from a number of prominent experts and analysts from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The 370-page book was the culmination of a longer term intensive project involving several collaborative meetings and seminars among the authors aimed at formulating a comprehensive strategic vision of the region, with a focus on the political, economic and security dimensions of the South Caucasus.
In a brief four-page policy memo, the Regional Studies Center (RSC) called for greater engagement by the European Union in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and issued a set of policy recommendations (see attached).
The policy memo, entitled, “The danger of deadlock: The imperative for European Union engagement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” was published on 15 August 2013 by the Commonspace.eu Blog. http://commonspace.eu/eng/news/6/id2760
RSC Special Analysis: FIVE YEARS ON: ASSESSING THE AFTERMATH OF THE FIVE-DAY AUGUST 2008 GEORGIA-RUSSIA WAR
Five years since the sudden outbreak of war between Georgia and Russia on August 7, 2008, the regional landscape of the South Caucasus has shifted significantly. The direct impact of the Georgia-Russia war was profound, and resulted in the Russian recognition of the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a setback to Georgian aspirations to join the NATO alliance, and a dramatic escalation of tension between Moscow and Tbilisi. Each of these developments came amid the backdrop of both a projection of Russian power and a consolidation of Russian influence throughout much of the South Caucasus.